Poetry » Miriam Sagan »

The External Soul

break an egg
dot the corners of the house
with viscous albumen
to draw back the soul
that has crept like a cat
beneath the threshold
of the

House of God

Thirty-six years later
I return to Boston
Where my life was saved
And I acquired
A terror
Of finding myself
In a human body.

(and if it was contagious
if it was

Where was beauty
Where had it been
In the damp cold
When I’d bought
A paper butterfly kite
From Chinatown
And hung it
Over the four poster bed
That had been my mother’s.

A loneliness
More bitter than black bread
Or old coffee
Seized beneath my breast bone.

Siren in the night–
The simple fear
That I’d die
In a ward
Of a great city hospital
In the snow
Without ever once
Having left
This place.