Lorraine Capparell © 2007 All Rights Reserved
The Butcher’s Daughter
I saw a painting in a dream:
Eden’s hedgerows, God unadorned,
the apple’s pale appearing.
A woman walked from flower to flower to flower.
It had been raining. A glut of mud.
One milk pail gleaming. But there were no animals,
there were angels and an invention of fire.
Ox-blood curtain loosening, sunlight curling
towards the window, I woke—
Someone had put the sections of an orange on a white plate before me,
an egg in a cup, sloppily broken like clouds.
Now, one night I drove to the center of town
to train tracks I’d never seen a train pass.
And when I woke at sunrise, still in my trousseau,
my suitcase missing, I saw, I thought, my husband:
thickets of odor from his apron, exotic and coarse.
And then he was undressing. His body unexpected.
At any moment it would have been autumn
and the moon did its work: wheel, bone, bead, and charm.
Father, when I was a child, listening to others
and was told that spirit did not exist,
I saw you coming towards me. And when I stood
among the trees in our orchard, enormous statues
bent towards me, gazing their life like any other life.
Two for Jules
O the touristy beach and many motels,
Castaways, Aztec, Argosy,
where there were dimly-lit restaurants
at 10 a.m. and breakfast for $1.99
served by women with platinum hair like crowns…
And there’s my father in that Atlantic,
unafraid of the seaweed snarl
that's landed on his bulky shoulder.
Once he walked to Nathan’s in 98 degrees
for an egg-cream on Shabbat,
and at supper that night
our forks tapped the glassware,
little blood-spill from the meat.
I wanted to be loved. I was Florida forever.
And how I loved your sea.
Your hoof was blue like the sea.
Your horn was white.
Where did you go
with your prayer-book,
your talis, your tail?
(The violence of the father
is given to the daughter
like the name of the father.)
Your face is dabbed with silence now
and the small to-do of clouds…
Aliza Einhorn is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She lives in Brooklyn.
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