From Woman: Splendor and Sorrow – Who Am I? poem by Gabriela Marie Milton

Gustav Wertheimer – The Kiss of the Siren , Public Domain

Who Am I? published first by Shabd Aaweg and republished in my book Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose.

For five times in twenty-four hours, I face in the direction of the sea.

The first time the morning star floats above the water as innocent as the breast of a young girl.  Soon the sun will try to catch her naked and burn her skin. She will escape. Pigeons will carry her across the sea. She will melt into yellow waters. Her last rays will fall in my lap like feathers.

I will rejoice.

The second time, divorced from her night bed, the light disperses itself on the shore. I can see myself washing clothes in the sea. My hair is tied in a ponytail. I am barefoot, and my dress is rolled up. The skin of my lips is cracked. I bleed. The clothes I wash smell cedar and spices. The shadow of a seagull positions itself on my forehead. The sea reflects the twelve signs of the zodiac. I can see no relationship between my destiny and that which I do. I am scared.  

At noon, the sun kneads the waters with rapture. Shells shed pearls on the shore. My own rational thought leaves my body. I delight in the waves like a gazelle in the grasslands. I feel the movement of the water on my skin. Its cyclical quality sends me in a state of ecstasy. No, it is not the ecstasy of Saint Teresa of Ávila. It is something similar to a soporific trance. I am dead, and I am alive at the same time. I come from the sea. I return to the sea.

In the afternoon, my rational self awakes. My mind spreads its wings. I get preoccupied with verbs. I set one triangle in the normal position, and I invert the other one. I bind them together. I make myself a dress from pieces of paper inscribed with old symbols. Oh, femininity! You are the goddess of vines, the mother earth, the chalice, the blood, the fertility of the womb. I mull over these desperate efforts to equalize the feminine with the masculine. There is nothing in these symbols that points to the intellect of a woman.

In the evening, the sky stretches itself from blue to dark violet. The silk of the gloves hugs my fingers. I feed my iguana with cookies soaked in champagne. She hisses at me. I open a package of silk stockings. The door opens by itself. You step in. I stare at you. You are in by your own volition.  One kiss and you borrow my tears. One touch, and I borrow your pain. A passage rite. I keep a coffin adorned with lilies in my bedroom. I sleep besides death like Sarah Bernhardt.

Did you hear that noise? A rosary fell from the Spanish chest.

The wind slips between the petals of a rose and opens it.

Who am I? If I knew, I would tell you.

Did you say you love me? The twenty-four hours are up. Nobody is facing in the direction of the sea anymore.

There is no me.

Gabriela Marie Milton
#1 Amazon Bestselling Author
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings

Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women scheduled to be released on June 18, 2022

Art by Nick Revees

Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women scheduled to be released on June 18, 2022

Dear Readers,

I am delighted to announce that Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women is scheduled to be released on June 18, 2022.

It has been an honor and a pleasure to edit and curate this anthology. Every day I hear women speaking about the adversities they face. Every day I see most of them triumphing. To read the unbelievable poetry of women and men who understand how many obstacles need to be overcome in a society that is still patriarchal brought me to tears. Thank you for submitting your incredible poetry to this anthology. Thank you for opening your hearts.

Below is the description of the anthology as it will appear on Amazon.

Award-winning authors, Pushcart nominees, emerging poets, voices of women and men, come to the fore in this stunning, powerful, and unique anthology. Their poems testify to the challenges that women face in our society, and to their power to overcome them. A memorable collection of over 200 poems by more than 100 authors, this anthology is a must-have for anyone. We all can benefit from the poetry of survival, and of healing. We all can benefit from the experiences so beautifully evoked in this book. We can all come together to emerge triumphant from pain.

This anthology has been a team effort. Many thanks to Ingrid Wilson at Experiments in Fiction for agreeing to publish this book. Ingrid, you work relentlessly and you are a wonderful poet. Many thanks to Nick Reeves for his wonderful art and for his proofreading expertise. My deepest gratitude to everyone who spread the word about this anthology. Thank you to those of you who joined our Twitter Space.

On June 18, the day of the release, we will have a launch party via Zoom. Contributors are invited to read their poems. An email with more info will go out soon.

The event will be live-streamed via social media, so anyone will have a chance to hear poems from the anthology read by the poets themselves. For further updates check my blog, Ingrid’s, and the following social media accounts:

@shortprose1 (Gabriela Marie Milton)
@Experimentsinfc (Ingrid Wilson)

@experimentsinfiction (Ingrid Wilson)

Have a glorious rest of the week.

Gabriela Marie Milton
#1 Amazon Bestselling Author
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings