Sinking into swaddled comfort, in the bath’s after steam,
she’s wrapped in a ream of Egyptian cotton– soothed by
generous dollops of lavender lotion that glide evenly onto her pinked
skin, spreading a gloss that can make a difference when a bruised
body is more than those purple-gone-to-yellow chrysanthemums,
blooming just below the skin.
She leans against the tile wall, presses her forehead to its damp surface
and closes her eyes to the sound of florescent lights humming
like rain. . . .
How did she get here?
What streets did she walk every day until she became invisible ?
Where is the button & shoe factory, where are brick buildings footed
on Medina stone– the smudge of newsprint– scandals
& deaths– church bells ringing in the smells of
freshly made bread?
Ghosts in the vanity mirror billow
and rise–She sees her mouth’s shallow breath quickening
to leave this cell– to stand beyond the room’s threshold
in the shock of morning light.
M.J.Iuppa lives on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario. Her most recent poems have appeared in Poetry East, The Chariton Review, Tar River Poetry, Blueline, The Prose Poem Project, and The Centrifugal Eye, among others. Recent chapbook is As the Crows Flies (Foothills Publishing, 2008) and second full length collection, Within Reach, (Cherry Grove Collections, 2010); Forthcoming prose chapbook Between Worlds (Foothills Publishing) She is Writer-in-Residence and Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor program at St. John Fisher College, Rochester, NY.