Monday, November 20, 2017

Self-Portrait as Myself by Meghan O'Rourke


Self-Portrait as Myself
 
And now I, Meghan, have grown tired, have come
to the limits of my aesthetic fidelity. It is nearly summer,
and summer seems shorter to me
and winter longer and longer, as if life with
its inevitable accumulation of griefs
shifts time the way the myth said: casting a layer
of snow over all our losses. I want a daughter, but
the daughter I’ll never have I can’t imagine
more than I already have. I’d like to say,
these are the stories my mother read me,
and she is gone, and six decades
pass fast, so much faster than the mind absorbs
all the distorted love it feels for the world,
all the knowledge it accrues and wants to continue
to accrue, and in not being able to imagine her —
Stop. Stop here, and feel the light and the heat through
the window by my desk and remember the fields
I’ve stood in, the prickling of time at my leg,
the propeller planes hymning past, the daughter I lost
by not making her — the RNA, the tethered alleles,
the whorls of her fingers like the twisting
clouds above, the high and possible
voice I’ll never hear except within my secret ears. 

 

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