A Moment Alone
As if someone blew against the back of my neck,
I writhed up, becoming a wind myself,
and I flowed out the window of my bedroom.
Maybe I also emitted a moan over the croaking
of the frogs that night. Then I raised my arms
to the clouds, rooting my feet deep in the soil.
A stretch, I called it.
Now—pure nature in the night,
too sway-of-the-trees wise to worry about men—
I opened my nightgown but offered nothing
to anyone. This is for me, I said aloud to the night.
People would have laughed had they seen me
out their windows, naked but for my nightgown
flapping: I was small but the conviction of my stance
would’ve made me seem immense, framed
through their windows. Without my clothes
I was a world of possibility, more than a desire.
I, knowing better, I ought to mind my place,
I ought to walk like a lady,
I ought to demure myself to make him feel stronger,
I ought to mourn him when
he is gone. But every word I spoke to the wind
carried to him the scent of his regrets.
Every word blew through the night,
a breeze of my indifference.
Copyright © 2020 by A. Van Jordan. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 28, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.