Reconciliation: Phase I

by Natalie Eilbert


My first night in Madison I did not turn into a wildflower,
a rude will pushed blooms out, but the river wouldn't stop,
the trash burst plastic and singe, narrow fellow wiggled sour
along the gate of our brownstone. I hadn't used a drop
of chemicals, not on hair nor tongue. The last I dyed my hair
was radical, to watch time move out the root, the yellow
hairs grew away from me like children, and like girls laid bare
I cut them loose. I did it to feel gold again, like any mother.
What does return mean, the New York I swallowed dreamed
me back, I who am always so aware that a word's opposite
means the very same prayer. In my apartment, the same jeans
spangled along the borders, my unswept floor an anthem to trash.
How am I to find me in this mud between room and disavowal.
You couldn't know this loneliness, it lives wrong inside a vowel.