Nurse as Nursing
I love my ward too well, as only a childless woman loves a child. A candle lit
each day for her in church and my tongue weary with blessing her as my hands
are of her body. Juliet, sweet teen, now should have little need of me now but
hangs at my wrist, tugs at my rosary. She wants to be certain of love.
My breasts no longer comfort, and my words are not enough. I beg the Friar
for advice– how to offer better care? Without exact promise or cord?
He shakes his head. I am stupid to think God’s servant knows how to love.
Lady Capulet as Quarry
Her lake is a blank space within me, the waters she laid in hungry and worried
over in my depth. Let’s say I loved her poorly, even then, resented the shine
others took to my swollen frame more than they’d ever taken to me. How long?
they asked, When are you due? I was due before, then heavy with due, then
undone as a body slid out of me, her cry to inhabit forever all the edges of my
hearing. I held the desire she’d grow quickly and go, as now the cool grass seems
too quickly to cover her grave.
Sophie Klahr’s poetry, essays and reviews are found in Ploughshares, Gulf Coast, The Rumpus, Connotation Press, and Sycamore Review, among others. Her collaborative projects include creating scenic texts with the contemporary dance theatre influxdance. She is the poetry editor of Gigantic Sequins, and the author of the chapbook “_______ Versus Recovery” (Pilot Books). She lives in California.