Ghazal: Her Camisoles

She wore a different camisole to bed each night,
that week in early January when we stayed awake all night.

She taught me that word and wore them in colors
I never thought of myself; opaque, opposite of night.

Every mistake we made, interrupting, shouting,
silence, I was prepared to make, seeking the soulís dark night

like a prize out of reach.
Until she found the lump late one night,

washing in the tub. She wasnít shy about it,
there are words to prove this and we coax them each night.

She bought three new camisoles on the way home
from the hospital. Sheer, I shook them at night

for their colors: cat-black in the rain without her dog.
As she slept, guilt sat beside me until twilight.

We got her fourth-hand, but sheís loyal. As if she has a master,
guilt waits around the corner, says walk me home tonight.

I promise to stay where you put me. And I put her
where we lose the path before us in the night.

The blue camisoles whiten in the dark, Lilah.
Spring thunder chastens us to silence, and lasts until night.

Lilah Hegnauer's Dark Under Kiganda Stars was published by Ausable Press in 2005 and was an honorable mention for the 2007 Library of Virginia Literary Award. She has an MFA from the University of Virginia and her poems have been published in Kenyon Review, St. Annís Review, Orion, The Drunken Boat, and So to Speak. She was runner up for the 2007 Astraea Lesbian Writers Award and lives in Charlottesville, Virginia where she is the poetry editor of Meridian. (lilah.hegnauer@gmail.com).

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761