Ghost period by Wendy Kagan

Ghost period

Then the heat vanished
      and she was here again:

my maidenhood, a vestige of her,
      come for one more visit

(six months after
      what I thought was her last)

to leave behind
      her pale pink plush—

barely there, translucent
      as a moth’s wing-print.

Just as the tattered heads
      of asters, on warm

November days, peek out late
      then get snowed over,

she was out of
      step with the order of things

but I flickered up to see her anyway
      as if meeting an old flame

who’d given no end of trouble
      yet still brought stirrings.

She came without throbs
      that some might feel

the pelvis a bowl of fire
      empty as a phantom limb.

No, this body
      declared it was

a kid again, all day
      I felt the old currents

cartwheel through


Wendy Kagan lives and writes in a converted barn in New York’s Hudson River Valley. Her poems have appeared in The Baffler, Chronogram, and Poetry Distillery. She was named a finalist for the David Wade Hogue Poetry Scholarship “Martha Award” in 2022.

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