A magical full moon today, on Friday,
the thirteenth, no less, making it three feminine markers all in one. The forty-third Moon Prize,
goes to Cynthia Atkins's evocative poem "A Goddess in Purple Rain."
A Goddess in Purple Rain
by Cynthia Atkins
glass, a lady is lit-up inside the laundromat.
folding sheets, pink curlers of baroque
her hair, singing and creasing
t-shirt with sequins. Her arms and hips stretch out
a body of air—the room filling with sound.
I am humming inside her—inside her body,
for shelter from the abyss
of my alone. Rounding
a car, I am passing by, hearing “Purple Rain”
the radio—I can almost
sweat on the brow of the boy I danced with
many years ago—It tasted like dry toast
or the brunt of hurting.
to the sky imploring, Come as you are—
Alone to the last concert, to light
in a spell-bound crowd—Remorse of loving
a rock star we can never own.And
now the lady
the laundromat is swaying, and I am swaying
her from my car—Maybe she is dancing with her son,
off to boot camp, or the ends of the earth.
I’m thinking of my son
on the kitchen table in a wet diaper,
music from a wooden spoon.
is that concert, where you lit a match
your own bag of wounds.You felt like
you belonged, a
as a hackle of girls at the May prom.
at the moon, hanging like a shoe
throw its heel of light
on the page or an empty field.
are all in the body of this night, cogent as a judge
loves the law.The lady in the
the load to her car, unpins her hair.
don’t want to be alone tonight.The
to follow her— we are passing the town,
are hunkering down to sing
to the young, and the night
a stranger touching mysleeve.
* * * *
Goddess in Purple Rain" was first published in Hermeneutic Chaos.
Cynthia Atkins is the author of Psyche’s Weathers and In the Event of Full
Disclosure, and the forthcoming
collection “Still-Life With God.” Her poems have appeared in numerous
journals, including, Alaska Quarterly Review,
Apogee, BOMB, Cleaver Magazine, Cultural Weekly, Denver Quarterly, Diode,
Florida Review, Flock Lit, Green Mountains
Review, Le Zaporogue, Los Angeles Review, North American
Review, Rust + Moth, Sweet: A Literary Confection, SWWIM, Tampa Review, and Verse Daily, and have been nominated
for Pushcart and Best of The Net. Formerly, Atkins worked as the assistant director of the Poetry Society of
America. She has received fellowships from Bread Loaf and the VCCA. Atkins
teaches creative writing at Blue Ridge Community College and lives on the Maury
River of Rockbridge County VA with her family. More on
@catkinspoet www.cynthiaatkins.com, https://www.facebook.com/Cynthia-Atkins-190490067665164/-