City of Yearning, poem by Terry Ann Thaxton

      Married at eighteen, again
      at twenty-one, I wore flowers and drifted
      into parades. Once, to be with a man I moved

      to Illinois, lived in his house
      in the woods, and drove his jeep on dirt roads
      until he realized I didn’t do

      laundry well, and he sent me
      away. I emptied
      our savings, and took off
      through the night for Florida. Then a preacher

      who knew my mother’s God,
      married me at twenty-five,
      and quoted the Bible every night through dinner.

      Waiting became my art. Then suitcases fell
      from the closet. Land sprouted
      behind doors. Clocks
      came out of hiding.

      Now the men I left think I ache
      without them. Let me demand

      a vase as a sequel to myself.
      Let me eat the doors of my dollhouse.
      Let me sleep in a bell.


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