Nancy Bevilaqua


We meet again: waiting room, another rehab. Unfortunates, the poor,
withdrawing. Delirium tremens, filters on the floor, all grays and browns
but you and I are matched in black. Someone mentions how I look at you
but I don't even recognize you yet. Still we cup together, wait. Upstairs

there's a game of hunting flowers going on: first flower that I find a tube,
long, spectacular, at one end light and burst of indigo. I'm happy,
poor with you, untangled, lover of the vices, strung out, shored up
on your winter bed. My Easter bunny makes a mess; I'll clean it soon,
then bunny somehow drowns but in my palm
he swells to life again. This our room but not our home.

You have somewhere you need to go: fair enough—I'll wait downstairs
among the wealthy for a bit (I'm one of them but I don't fit). Storm out there
and nothing simple. Return to you, my shepherd

getting clean. You dream me in. Day has opened on a tapestry, sun you pour,
honey, human cup I'm splayed, receiving. All the flowers have been found:
I'll turn off the TV
and we will dance because I never could, share trays of food and pray
that this time you recover. I have another bed by ocean, palms and warmth.
Undiscovered we will be as eggs in sand
and birth when you have bloomed, blown completely open in me.

Nancy Bevilaqua's poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from Rust+Moth, Tupelo Quarterly, Juked, MadHat Lit, Atticus Review, Construction, Hubbub, Menacing Hedge, Iodine, and other journals. She's the author of a poetry collection entitled Gospel of the Throwaway Daughter, and of Holding Breath: A Memoir of AIDS' Wildfire Days. She was born in New York City, and returned there after college to attend NYU's M.A. program in English/Creative Writing (Poetry); that was a very long time ago. She now lives in Florida with her son Alessandro. He's an accomplished musician, so she likes to tell herself that she must have done something right.

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