Soft as She Is

by Rosa Alcalá

Reading Sappho—like spinning—
is possible
while child rearing
you lose sight of her
in the pool
only seconds at a time

breath fragment
            breaststroke
      apostrophe

you look up and the work continues
to move through you the spool
fattening

and when the longing
turns to strengthen the
ply

a thread breaks loose
      suddenly there

and she yells at you shivering to
come
“soft as she is”

Published on September 10, 2020

First published in Harvard Review 55.

2020-11-02T16:12:00+00:00