Because I’m No Persephone
Once I loved a man who was all shadow // I wanted to touch him / You could say we lived in a world of dark matter // I should have known / our first date / he lead me down a staircase / to a shape–shifting room // On the dance floor / my body dissolved / I didn’t think it could happen to me // I liked his smile / I could have sworn / some days / I saw a grain of light / It was just false dawn / He reminded me / I was always wrong / charmed me with his facsimiles // I could only touch him in the world of dark matter / He could only touch me if I stayed shadow // I wanted more / How could I know / the grief of leaving / I found the river / skimmed a seam of light / broke water / breathed // Light conceived my body whole // I recognized the tremolo / of my voice / I remembered / Some days/ I missed his touch // Some nights / I still wake / in a tremble / unlock my arms / hold shadow / until it sleeps / then stop / and watch for sun.
Marcene Gandolfo’s debut collection, Angles of Departure, won the 2015 Silver Award for Poetry from Foreword Review. Her poems have been published widely in literary journals, including Poet Lore, Bellingham Review, and December Magazine. She has taught writing and literature at several northern California colleges and universities, and she currently leads poetry workshops for Women’s Wisdom Art, a non-profit organization that provides art instruction to women in the Sacramento community.