Eileen Tabios

Eileen Tabios

Delaying Death
            As Gabriela Turns Forty

I have wanted daughters
to fill mornings with lemony

giggles—only young girls
wear polka-dots well—

I am missing polka dots
like I am missing my twenties

when I still flung coins
into brass fountains wishing for

the opposite of diminution
plus kindness—

Without daughters I concede
to canyons of steel and black glass—

No need for the modest
but satisfying sway of a clothesline

drawing waves against air—
I would have pinned its flurries

with items involving chiffon, ribbons
and polka dots—

And peach cotton nightgowns
that would have flared

when pale legs
kicked at night

whose membrane
sometimes lurched

to gasp forth the sound
of a monster licking the window

when it was only two lovers
delaying death by borrowing my lawn—

return to SHAMPOO 19