Her Story

Who ends up telling it
matters as much as what's told:
Imagine Leda controlling her trembling

as the swan thrust deeper,
losing all sense of time
until she picked at a feather stuck to her thigh,

whispering It was more
like death than life
. Dissolve to real
time, annihilated by the white sun, the white

man coming into the hut
while the woman lay in shadow, knowing
her screams would only mix in with the cicadas,

the crows, the words he would
deny like the coldness he could feel
trembling through her though she lay still, lay

still enough for death. I
have my own version, woke to it
one morning years ago, someone's hands

at my throat, my voice
through the cloth of the pillowcase
already hollow with what I was about to lose,

had already lost because
sleep had become a place violence
could invade with the dream's ease, the dream's

silence. I tried to tell
the story until it became someone
else's, until the hands at my throat

dissolved, dream image
offering no clear portent,
like the feather from the pillow

stuck to my brow afterwards
when I looked into the mirror and saw
another woman trembling to seize control.


Poems by Lynne Knight:

Her Story
The Story
Not Even They Could Stop It, and They Were Myth
Boundless Kingdom
Bedtime Story
Lost Sestina
Meditation Interrupted by Bats
Bed and Bone
O, Penelope!
None of Us at Prayer

Dissolving Borders

TIMES TEN: An Anthology of Northern California Poets