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That Woman by Tishani Doshi [poem]

December 19, 2011

I borrow verse again. I love this. It reminds me of what that one famous person once famously said about poetry having the precision of science. Exacting in its truth.


That Woman
By Tishani Doshi

That woman is here again.
She’s found her way out
from under the stairs.
For centuries she’s been weeping
a song about lost men,
the disappearance of beauty,

Now she’s back in the world,
down by the traffic lights,
in the shade of trees,
hurrying to the parlour
to fix the crack in her face.
Don’t become that woman,
my mother said,
by which she meant,
don’t become that woman
who doesn’t marry
or bear children.

That woman who spreads her legs,
who is beaten, who cannot hold
her grief or her drink.
Don’t become that woman.
But that woman and I
have been moving together
for years

like a pair of birds
skimming the surface of water,
always close to the soft
madness of coming undone;
the dark undersides of our bodies
from our reflections.

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