(for Lucille) Our voices race to the towers, and up beyond the atmosphere, to the satellite, slowly turning, then back down to another tower, and cell. Quincy, Toi, Honoree, Sarah, Dorianne, Galway. When Athena Elizalex calls, I tell her I'm missing Lucille's dresses, and her shoes, and Elizabeth says "And she would say, "Damn! I do look good!'" After we hang up, her phone calls me again from inside her jacket, in the grocery store with her elder son, eleven, I cannot hear the words, just part of the matter of the dialogue, it's about sugar, I am in her pocket like a spirit. Then I dream it — looking at an illuminated city from a hill, at night, and suddenly the lights go out — like all the stars gone out. "Well, if there is great sex in heaven," we used to say, "or even just sex, or one kiss, what's wrong with that?!" Then I'm dreaming a map of the globe, with bright pinpoints all over it — in the States, the Caribbean, Latin America, in Europe, and in Africa — everywhere a poem of hers is being read. Small comfort. Not small to the girl who curled against the wall around the core of her soul, keeping it alive, with long labor, then unfolded into the hard truths, the lucid beauty, of her song. 15 Feb '10
Copyright © 2010 by Sharon Olds. Used by permission of the author. All rights reserved.