Three Days After
If I put my fingers there, I can feel it still:
the crevice at the center of my abdomen,
two fingers wide,
where the muscles part like a curtain.
Behind them, the sacred space where I grew you.
My organs swelled
a dome in the cavity of my chest.
the vault of muscle.
the mosaic of veins.
And you at the center
filling the nave with sound.
When I put my hand there,
it was a hand that cracked the door of heaven,
and I saw the gleaming new of the waters,
and there was light.
All of it was light.
And now the great room is empty.
In the midnight dark,
I count your fingers and toes.
I watch your kick and your suckle.
I reach my hands out to you, and they grow heavy
with the weight of the air between us.
The walls of that great room sigh and begin their slow
My breasts weep with the sorrow of it.
that golden chandelier,
swings against the winged buttress of my lungs.
Its light shudders and dims.
I once read a book
where the writer talked of loneliness
Like a house whose windows are lit
whose rooms are filled with people
and you, forever outside
in the dark.
But no –
loneliness is this:
first, the expulsion
then, the collapse of this cathedral built to worship you
Megan Pillow is a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop in fiction and is currently a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the University of Kentucky’s English Department. Her work has appeared, among other places, in Solidago, The Louisville Eccentric Observer (LEO), and The Huffington Post. She is the recipient of a 2016 Parent Writer Fellowship in poetry from the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing and the winner of the 2016 King Library Press UK Poetry Broadside contest.