A Handful of Leaves

It is hard not to have faith at ten, sitting on the front porch steps
with the sun on my skin, bronze as an almond and nearly as sweet.
What little grace I will ever possess occurs here, tendrils of light
seeping through the vines above my head. Bless her. Bless her body.
Bless the decay not yet forming in her cells that will take her—
Why are we here except to be blessed and again until we become
little suns, supernovas of grace spilling into the sea.
How marvelous to walk the world in a louche hat and canvas
greatcoat astride the road like a child of Gaia.
It is late in the day, the sun winding toward the hill behind Bisson
farm, all potential held in my bare feet hugging the cooling earth.
The body has become almost intolerable. Something to slip
out of: long black silk opera gloves, a fabulous pink strapless gown.

Susana Roberts’ work has appeared in Salamander, Fickle Muses, Redivider, and Mississippi Review, among others. She teaches literature and creative writing at Boston College.