Patricia Brody

Hardy’s Ghost

She left her home.

With a shark,  who gnawed her to the bone.
               Either because his mother deserted
               Or his father wouldn’t give him what he needed
Or he had poison in his bones.

He was not above enticing her
               With botany & literature.
He would explain Thomas Hardy & drops of snow.
In fact, the poems Hardy wrote — for his dead wife.

He makes her ghost — rejected bones – come back to life.
               The woman calling /   the man falling…

The good writer rues how he ruined love:
                                                                                   With her would he not go.
The shark vowed,       with the new woman:        he would, he would.
But we know how these stories end.

(Previously published in The Hardy Review)

What a Good Haunter I Am, Oh Tell Him

“The Haunter” — TH

Your Blue quilt fading. There must I leave
your bed unmade,
You’d left the room, half-wife, I lay half-

Resting, a few minutes more.
Rose reluctantly, re-covered my body
tried to sneak a look, your one mirror

Inside the closet, belongings stuffed
the one before me, possibly–
Blue-gray kitten leaps up

Above the banished clothes — Close that door!
your tone stern as an angry ruler.
If I hadn’t written about your covers
elegant on first unmaking —
Years in the silk of discovery.

Blue quilt fading.        If I hadn’t,
I wouldn’t now. The dampness after
our spangled shower
oh to the bed — if I hadn’t–

Relieved this date to find a demi-planet
more immediate:
Nitrogen wrapped, ice covered:
“New Horizons grazes Pluto’s side!”

Her heart of leaking gases. “Fly by-
fly by–” — -You were only grazing — —
650,000 miles away, behind blue.
In your cold orbit you
dwarfed me.

(Previously published in The Hardy Review)

Disappearing Goddess

Nothing but skimpy boy-shorts on the sun-brown girl
her father’s green eyes peer from her scared face
bird-beak nose, scrunched mouth,  small shoulders of                   
hunch tensely forward to cover her heart from –whoever’s
just outside the picture.  One skinny arm clutches her doll Regina – — 
Named by you know who —  the other arm grasps the hand
whose taut, tanned arm is the only visible part

of the goddess,  who looks like a blonde bride
to the little girl and the father  –to the whole world
maybe, as the girl follows her awkwardly out of the frame
slower than the goddess wants — the long arm pulls, pulls —-

And I will follow the disappearing goddess
the rest of my life, she, trying to vanish
me in hot pursuit, to catch —  even her hand
hold her as long as I can
heart pounding, shoulders hunched  — 
couldn’t catch him or him,  or him
who pulled away like her,   and vanished
me in hot pursuit  —
                                     and the girl pulls back, bare chest towards the camera
to look at us who look at her
and want to say something to her.