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Breath & Shadow

Winter 2023 - Vol. 20, Issue 1


written by

Coleen Anderson

You unmasked yourself

naked, luminescent

A viral disease

had plucked all your hairs

revealing skin smooth

radiant as amber

Your eyelashes absent, the faintest honey

down where eyebrows should shyly brush skin

Serene as life captured

the sculptor’s finest chiseling

in you stood a goddess

plum curls (wig or not) tumbling

ecstatic over your shoulder

Your almost boyish-but-not-quite body

the breasts

no ponderous old flesh

The planes of ribs and belly

glided smoothly into the cleft

so innocently childlike

but holding deeper mysteries

of a woman’s blood

I’m sure all loved you—loved

your hairless torso so like a child

woman one

yet the other

inspiring as sculpted alabaster

A certain alien perfection

when I saw you

I too wanted to be completely

beguilingly pared down

sleek as any ancient god

carved from life

in stone

Colleen Anderson lives on BC’s rainy wet coast and much prefers it over snow. Fascinated by symbolism and myths, she often explores these themes.

She has a BFA in writing and is a multiple award nominee for the Aurora, Rhysling, Pushcart and Dwarf Stars Awards in poetry. Her poetry collections, I Dreamed a World, is forthcoming from LVP Publications. When not writing, exploring or reading, she keeps an eye out for mold monsters and mermaids.

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