“On the Anniversary of Her First Marriage” by Naomi Ruth Lowinsky

Naomi Ruth Lowinsky


had i never leapt across the yellow grasses
of that meadow near Point Reyes to the sound
of the Hallelujah chorus     never wound my adulterous
legs around my flute playing lover     never been so blatant
so lewd     i might still be married to that boy
from high school     still be small and hidden in the pocket
of his green corduroy jacket     peering out at other people’s
lives     had i never danced to the bongos and the setting
sun at Big Sur     never almost run away with that ferryman
masseur who could transport me to the land
of naked bodies and temple whore lore     had i never been
such a bitch such a floozy     never danced topless
in a bar     never known the lotus flower
to blossom in my own goddess body     never lived alone
with three children     fed them eternal
soup of the week     never been apprenticed
to a witch     studied spells and incantations     never sat on a wooden
floor howling with what came to me out of a cave     never seen yellow
bellied death sitting on my bed forcing me to face
my real life—     get up     wash face     bring fever down     stay alive
to raise the children—     would i have found my place     in this sweet
bed     where wanton and wild are loved by a man
who has light in his eyes     where tigers and lions roam     yellow hills
in my dreams     and both sun and moon shine upon me?

from Rattle #25, Summer 2005
Tribute to the Best of Rattle


Naomi Ruth Lowinsky: “One June, many years into a happy second marriage, a poem began tugging at me, reminding me it was the anniversary of my first marriage. The poem insisted on making me look at what a ‘bitch and a floozy’ I’d been on the way out of that marriage, and how essential it was that I made such a mess. It came as a whoosh of memories, which I gathered unto a strand. It helped me gather myself. Often my poems do this for me, like a good analyst would. They confront me, tell me my own story, make sense of my life, free me as only the truth can.” (web)

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