What She Meant

when she said that she wanted nothing
was not sainthood or self-abnegation
or that her eyes were fixed on the prize
of love. Perhaps she had an inkling
of his leaving, a foreshadowing of frozen
footsteps, a preview of the conversation
where he said he’d take the China blue rug
and half of everything. Take the whole heart
she should have said, as for Solomon.
But the world is stuff; how could she not want
to make an entrance in the red dress,
run her hands through plum silks
and gauzy linens, collect the model life,
like a dollhouse, with its mini drapes,
itsy bitsy chairs, teensy cradle?
How could she not want all things
that shimmer, hum, and glisten?
Just one could never be enough. So
she said nothing—though when she clutches
the comforter that last time, she’ll plead
as Goethe did of light more, give me more.

Diane Kirsten Martin’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Field, ZYZZYVA, Cimarron Review, Harvard Review, Narrative, and elsewhere, was included in Best New Poets, received a Pushcart Special Mention, and won a prize from Smartish Pace. Her collection, Conjugated Visits, an NPS finalist, was published in 2010 by Dream Horse Press. Her current manuscript, Hue and Cry, is seeking a publisher.