Lately, when I stand at the window facing the orchard, I
stare and stare, at winter’s vague shadows, not realizing
that I’m visualizing a path through these chilly spaces where
windswept branches could catch hold of my woolen coat
with its loose buttons, and keep me from going deeper in-
to the hour known for its twitching light— its corridor of
mirrors that reveal my body’s slow ache as it mounts
each step’s steep incline, moving chamber to chamber
as if I were inside a nautilus lost long ago . . . What has
become my work before dying? Am I to find my DNA
in Rome’s catacombs and breathe it back to life? I feel my skull’s
bones beneath soft flesh—this mask waiting to be lifted.
M.J. Iuppa’s fourth poetry collection is This Thirst (Kelsay Books, 2017). For the past 32 years, she has lived on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario. Check out her blog: mjiuppa.blogspot.com for her musings on writing, sustainability & life’s stew.