Deanne Napurano, a New Jersey native, has been a copywriter for over 25 years. Recently, breast cancer excised its pound of flesh, resetting her writing trajectory. As she healed physically from bilateral mastectomy, she began to focus on more personal expression. Napurano is currently working on a new collection of poems that explore loss and the hope of recovery. Her poems have appeared in Rust + Moth and Writing in a Woman’s Voice.
I am done with your half flush, half look. I am done being stuck between your half heart, half lipped, slipped too deep to easily unthread and my empty shoe dropped half a mile below – a warning to stop moving before you take me whole.
I cut my arm free at the shoulder to loose myself from your half hold, half scold, half smile, while you queue up the next blue eye and I half suckle your child, my breasts sawn off at the chest wall, and your half laugh shadows her face.
Your hands, careless, pull weeds and pansies. Detached from your head, they pull, unceasing.
Halved earthworms, dislodged in crumbs of soil – grass and clover uprooted – your hands scratch, unseeing.
Your greedy fingers gnaw with termite vigor. Threads of new silk, translucent, break easily as you dig wider. Your hands, mouths
that once dropped seeds into measured rows, were watchful angels – now your hands eat our firmament.
Under the loam, clay that resists your fleshed palms, yields when your hands snap off your wrists and the bones of your forearms hit the taproot.
You Waited Long
You waited long and I knew it, but it didn’t hurry me, or harass me, or hurt me to know that you waited. You waited. I let the water run longer in the sink watching it swirl in the drain, streaming silver rings, promise rings, that caught the November morning grey in its shadows as I laid my rinsed cup, upside down, on the drainboard. I heard you calling. You had already forgotten my name, but I knew you called me today you called me yesterday you called me yesterday. In between the calls you sighed a swollen cow’s cry to her dead calf, flies in eyes heard your sigh that seemed to come from outside the house, still you waited. When finally I walked to your chair, when finally I stepped into your small whirling world, swiped at your black flecks, saw your chin to your chest, took your hand, you stared past me and kept calling.