Listen to Podcast Interview with Grace Cavalieri on The Poet and the Poem

The City Of Birth

The wound rips open: You feel the welt
of solitude, its hospital lights. Then you know
you have arrived. It is to be one body
and held in the palm of the doctor's hand.
It is the gash of being seen.

Now for the rest of your life
you are trying to be born through a wound.
That's loneliness. By a slip, or by some move
more desperate, you have burned
a purple shadow on your body.

But death is not the subject of our portrait.
It is the knowing you are seen,
it is the lighting of one's light, it is to take
a body, knowing you are not the body.
That's loneliness.

From Another City