• Where Is My Lady?

    Sharon Olds

    Fall 2018

    I don’t know where the moon is,
    four in the morning. Orion is out,
    faint. For how many years was he my bright
    imaginary husband—much colder and more
    distant than the imaginary husband
    I was married to. And in the years by myself,
    inside this house in sight of no other
    houses, in the dark, hours before dawn,
    I would look up, and out, from behind
    a window, at the black tray
    fierce with gems, and I’d feel I had to go
    out and stand under it, though afraid
    there might be a human male on the loose
    in the woods around me. Now I think
    maybe the heavens’ intense glitter
    was like my mother’s eyes when she was so much
    taller than I, and she labored to put me
    out in the wind, unprotected,
    as she had been. Well, I attend
    the moon—and not as a monster, I await it
    almost as an equal, a companion in space, once
    part of the earth until knocked away.
    This very early morning, I do not
    feel I do not deserve to live,
    nor need I scare myself by going
    out where our unnatural species
    roams. But where is my lady?

    Sharon Olds has published thirteen volumes of poetry, which have won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, among other honors. She teaches at NYU.

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