The Fat and the Blood : By Paul Cheney

The Old Bitch Gets Out Of Bed In Three Parts

andrew wilson window

Artwork by Andrew Scott Wilson

For Callie

I.

She sleeps naked every night
under just a quilt she fashioned from
her husband’s flannel shirts.
Retreating from a dream of marriage
stealing only smells away,
she warms.
Her body creaks and coaxes her awake.
She senses from underneath her quilt
that night has honed itself
and burgeoned into morning.
It’s then she feels the wrenching love
that sorrow and diffused regret have given her.
She lets herself be taken by it,
heaves the quilt away from her
and lies exposed beneath
the curling of the dust

II.

Opening her eyes,
She watches, with devotion and a touch
of envy
her bedroom windows
fling themselves into the morning—
brazen, youthful, foolish—
as sunlight, huge and gracious,
quickly waters where they meet
and fights to keep from bursting them.
When certain of their safety,
then,
it lunges in and crackles through the room.

III.

She pulls the weeds
from her tomato garden
which she planted where he died.
“Something in the red,”
she used to tell the inquiries.
Now she doesn’t know.
The flowers in the creases
of her apron bloom as she unbends
and then surveys with earthy hand
the property with bitter love.

She thinks in large, inchoate thoughts
that shoot out words
inside of her like:
“swollenness” and “light”
and sees before she stoops again
a flash of evening sun in bending grass.

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