Ophelia

She fabricates life in a lamp-lit room,
cloaks herself in poetry, in the singing
of this poem. Ophelia considers company
but decides to go it alone.

It begins: The tube snakes slowly inside.
She watches a plane knife through clouds
beyond the clinic’s window. A plastic jar fills
with one perfect white sucking sound.

Another infant, girl or boy, unknown.
The nurse hovers, lowers her gown, says,
“All that could have been is undone.”
It is a good saying, she thinks, it is true.

In the evening as the sun fades to brown,
Ophelia invites her friends and her friend’s friends
to wash the color from her hands,
some with whiskey, some with wine.

She lingers beside the river, feet bare on rocks,
anxious to touch the water, to return. God
is not in heaven. He is in motion, a copper creature
bearing down, determined to find the name

without a sound. Ophelia dives, secret gripped
in a palm. Turned loose, it swims and flickers
in the dusky wash of half light, then is gone.

Previously published in A Baker’s Dozen: Thirteen Extraordinary Things.

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JP Reese has fiction, poetry, and CNF published or forthcoming in many print and online journals. Reese edits poems for Connotation Press and THIS Literary Magazine, and her first chapbook, Final Notes, was published in February 2012. Read her published work at jpreesetoo.wordpress.com. JP’s “Put Down Your Camera and Love Me”“June, Texas, 1993” and “Happy Hour” are also in Reprint.

Object(s) to bring back to life: “My father (the original Mad Man) telling one of his hilarious shaggy dog stories.”

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