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Elegy

by Martha Rhodes

My body given away, parts
flown to other parts—a child
receives my eyes, another
my heart, the diseased organs
remain, benign now.
In death I am waiting
for my soul to arrive
that I may divide it equally
among frightened neighbors.
In death I pursue a man
younger than my father
ever was in my life.
In death I am a mother
who disowns her children
in a market parking lot.
In death a ghost lies
under me, pregnant. In death
I unbury myself and try
to extract my soul surgically;
it will not release, will not;
I discover there is no one else
this soul wishes to be.

 

Martha Rhodes, director of the Civic Center Synagogue Reading Series in New York City, has poems in Virginia Quarterly Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. (1993)


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