Elisabeth Murawski

Possibly Pavese

Do not run from me he’d say,
his dark head bending

to a small breast,
the lemon sunlight

absorbed there, always
the woman smell

taking him back
to that wooden embrace

tight as a vise,
his mother's stoic braid.

She had cut out
his infant heart, strung it

above his bed
to play with, certain

he'd never miss it,
not even when he dies

years after her
by his own hand

groping in the dark
for scissors and paste.