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

The Letter O

O: Your birth month, the full October moon, orange, rising  
behind oaks. O: the fifteenth letter, shown by Phoenicians
with a dot in the middle, as if eyes.  O: the mind waking. O
slashed: the mind oscillating, just before sleep. O: on Oahu,
hula dancers contain the sun. O: the primordial sound Om
as it begins in the back of the mouth. O: reading, in high school,
The Story of O, a woman who loses, reduces, subtracts herself
to zero. O: my fear of such oblivion.  O with circumflex:
my father's face when I didn't say, "Sorry". O: abbreviations;
old, ocean, Ohio, order, or. O: Ouroboros snake ends where she
begins. O: a love cry, a grief cry, a word meaning these two are
one. O with umlaut: your saxophone, hitting high E. O: the shape
of your matted head pushing out of me. O: my os mirroring. O:
your lips just before you took your first breath. O: what I called
out when I rocked you and our eyes were Phoenician—O's looking
into O's:  O daughter, O snow goose, oh-no-gnome, my only O.

Joanne Rocky Delaplaine, from The Letter O
first published in Beltway Poetry Quarterly