Ghazal: Her Camisoles
She wore a different camisole to bed each night,
that week in early January when we stayed awake all night.
She taught me that word and wore them in colors
I never thought of myself; opaque, opposite of night.
Every mistake we made, interrupting, shouting,
silence, I was prepared to make, seeking the soulís dark night
like a prize out of reach.
Until she found the lump late one night,
washing in the tub. She wasnít shy about it,
there are words to prove this and we coax them each night.
She bought three new camisoles on the way home
from the hospital. Sheer, I shook them at night
for their colors: cat-black in the rain without her dog.
As she slept, guilt sat beside me until twilight.
We got her fourth-hand, but sheís loyal. As if she has a master,
guilt waits around the corner, says walk me home tonight.
I promise to stay where you put me. And I put her
where we lose the path before us in the night.
The blue camisoles whiten in the dark, Lilah.
Spring thunder chastens us to silence, and lasts until night.
Lilah Hegnauer's Dark Under Kiganda Stars
by Ausable Press in 2005 and was an honorable mention for the 2007 Library of Virginia
Literary Award. She has an MFA from the University of Virginia and her poems have
been published in Kenyon Review, St. Annís Review, Orion, The Drunken Boat,
So to Speak.
She was runner up for the 2007 Astraea Lesbian Writers Award and
lives in Charlottesville, Virginia where she is the poetry editor of Meridian.