she knew her marriage was over,
had gone museum, this wife
who had stashed her love so lovingly
in a night stand drawer, kept it
hidden from the world that might
destroy it. Eventually, so secret
that even her husband couldn’t
find it. She grew smaller and
smaller and the secrecy grew legs
and arms and took the shape
of another man. No one can find
it now, she thought, and so, felt safe.
And then, when the late summer moon
started shining its heart-shaped light
in through her window, waking her,
she would get out of bed, close
the shade and worry that the moon
already knew too much.
What goes into that ellipsis
is the chipping down to specifics.
Block of marble revealing it’s David.
But what Michelangelo missed
was the small, impossible heartcry,
Wait! I can’t let go of this
warmcold marble I am holding!
Centuries pass, and the thought creeps
in that if my own heart is too sculpted
and buffed, standing tall for all to see,
then what would be left for someone
to add? It’s human to want to leave
a thumbprint. And besides, my heart
really would do better as unformed David,
stifling in its own marble coffin, rather
than standing out there in the open
for anyone to see, but not to touch.
Francine Witte is the author of four poetry chapbooks and two flash fiction chapbooks. Her full-length poetry collection, Café Crazy, has recently been published by Kelsay Books. She is reviewer, blogger, and photographer. She is a former English teacher. She lives in NYC.