by Steve Cartwright
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Two poems by Andrea Potos
From His Ribs
As a girl, I heard my mother’s murmurings,
the women gathered and sighing
around our kitchen table,
of a woman in love –
how, by the mere force of his face,
a man could take your breath away,
then, bring it back, like a god
giving birth to your words;
how longing was the purest
proof of love,
and his betrayal, only a matter of time,
the largest test of your faith.
I learned how the first woman
was sculpted from his ribs.
Some days, in a certain slant of light,
I see the angle of his bone in my face.
Cinderella Gets Smart
I’m climbing out of my rags,
paying a cleaner good money
to sweep these filthy floors.
My stepsisters smile;
they look at my face
and can see their own.
No matter that your sweet talk echoes
the lost voice of my father –
finally I know you’re not
sleepless, writhing in your sheets
over my absence.
You’re not scouring the kingdom
to find me.
The shoe you stash in your pocket
slips on so many feet besides mine.
“Cinderella Gets Smart” was previously published in Iris: A Journal About Women, issue 49, fall/winter 2004
Purchase Andrea Potos’ poetry chapbook, The Perfect Day, from Parallel Press of the University of Wisconsin – Madison Library system at http://www.parallelpress.library.wisc.edu/chapbooks.
Purchase Potos’ full-length poetry collection, Yaya's Cloth, from Iris Press at http://www.irisbooks.com.