I still remember, Nora, the first time you stood
In front of me, trying to figure out the little tufts
Of hair on your brow,
On your arm,
On your leg,
On your pit,
On your head,
On your lip.
You turned every corner and altered every nook;
And one day, you said, “But I am a girl.”
I wished to tell you, Nora,
“But you are just a girl.”
A girl whose nose shrinks every time
She tries to gather her heavy curls.
A girl who has to balance herself
Upon her toes to confine herself
Within me, and match the length of her skirt.
A girl who cringes every time the rubber band
Pulls out an extra strand. A girl who pushes back
The tip of the lace upon her shoulder
For fear that somewhere, someone might
See her...someone might break her.
You will always be just a girl to me, Nora.
When you sit close to me every afternoon
And strum out some old Celtic folklore,
I make certain that light reflects just
About right upon your left cheek.
The light was just about right, the day
You sat in front of me, Nora. You spread
Your legs and pulled up your torn skirt;
Caressing your blood-stained thighs,
You sobbed, “I cannot tell anyone. “
And you never told anyone anything
Of what you ever told me. You
Touched yourself and you broke to pieces.
And I remained a silent spectator,
As guilty as the times when you
Hung upon me, rubbing your blood-shot eyes.
You would very often bring sweet Mary Jane to my corner.
The Hand of the Clock revolves
Within its monotonous limited time,
And you revolve and grow, revolve and grow,
Like the mad women burning of desire,
Burning like a tempest.
The last time I saw you, Nora,
You were burning. Someone had exploded
A Roman candle close to your chest,
And you burned, burned, burned,
Hurling on the floor, an arm stretched towards me.
I wish I could stretch an arm too.
But you only saw you, Nora,
You never saw me.
You only saw you in me.