Poetry June 2009

Embrace

More

The great flowery dress of my seventh-grade teacher,
cotton or rayon, pillowcase for her vast
mothering bosom, scented with the perfume
of the unmarried, stretched over hips
that made arms of the lap I sat on—
you were the handkerchief of my remorse
just once, you with your bright roses and tulips,
spidery paths of vines and fluted leaves,
all the smothering penance that nearly consoled me,
until above my sobs I heard hers,
and in her arms the crushing force
or the grateful fury of our unburdening
made that embrace a thing apart:
O heartsick woman! O bewildered boy!

Michael Collier’s most recent collection is Dark Wild Realm (2006). He teaches at the University of Maryland and directs the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.
Jump to comments
Presented by
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In