was always where I wasn’t,
in the other room, behind the paisley curtains,
on the bigger Ferris wheel,
out in the backyard while I was washing cups.
It was always just before my Currie’s Mile Hi cone
or just after I left the party.
It was while I was leaning over the toilet,
throwing up a bad tuna sandwich
when my boyfriend went out alone and got drunk
with a girl he barely knew
and ended up fuzzy-diced into marrying her.
It was in the sixties, with love and pot
and rainbows over the radio,
while I was bricked under lawns and tricycles
and dirty sheets, scrambled with the eggs, broken
over and over and over again.
Now the sixty turnings belong, not to the century,
but to the mirror,
and I’m still here, waiting for amber earrings.
—from Rattle #4, Fall 1995
Ruth Bavetta: “I was a visual artist for years, until I found I also wanted images that could be painted with words. I wanted to use words, as I used images, to help me make sense of my life. Now, I’ve become convinced that neither words nor images will suffice, because there is no sense-making. There is only what is and what has been. It’s enough to know I am human, separate and mortal, and that’s where I find my poems.” (web)