Solitaire by Deborah Landau

Thanks to Maurice Devitt for introducing me to this poet. After reading this poem, I went on to her website. She certainly has found her subject. Interesting way she has of repeating lines (those compelling ones) in different poems. One way of linking poems for a collection. Love this one in particular.


That summer there was no girl left in me.

It gradually became clear.

It suddenly became.


In the pool, I was more heavy than light.

Pockmarked and flabby in a floppy hat.

What will my body be


when parked all night in the earth?

Midsummer. Breathe in. Breathe out.

I am not in the oxygen tank.


Twice a week we have sex.

The lithe girl poolside I see them

at their weddings I see them with babies their hips


thickening I see them middle-aged

I can’t see past the point where I am.

Like you, I’m just passing through.


I want to hold on awhile.

Don’t want to naught

or forsake, don’t want


to be laid gently or racked raw.

If I retinol. If I marathon.

If I Vitamin C. If I crimson


my lips and streakish my hair.

If I wax. Exfoliate. Copulate

beside the fish-slicked sea.


Fill me I’m cold. Fil me I’m halfway gone.

Would you crush me in the stairwell?

Could we just lie down?


If the brakes don’t work.

If the pesticides won’t wash off.

If the seventh floor pushes a brick


out the window and it lands on my head.

If a tremor, menopause. Cancer. ALS.

There are the ABCs of my fear.


The doctor says

I don’t have a pill for that, dear.

Well, what would be a cure-all, ladies,


gin –and-tonic on a summer night?

See you in the immortalities! O blurred.

O tumble-rush of days we cannot catch.


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