The Lean Season

Untended lawns bloat with daisies.
My daughter packs my clothes for Portofino—
where seagulls bicker over fish,
and flowers, plucked before budding,
are sold for loose change in the streets.

There, the hotel attendant will collect
my beauty case. On bolder days, the dropped
handkerchief. Himself a relic on carpet
and embalmed in rich wallpaper. I’ll tip him
to eavesdrop on the November journey,

how my left breast wilted one morning
under hospital sheets, a one-night stand.
There is no shame in metastasis. I’ll taunt him
to finger the cavity of my loss, watch
as his hands slip into the luggage grips.

About the author

Arlene Ang is the author of four poetry collections, the most recent being a collaborative work with Valerie Fox, Bundles of Letters Including A,…

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Issue 07 · November 2009

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