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Monday, June 01, 2020


by Judy Rowe Michaels

Though I could barely part my lips, numb
in a starry winter night, and our breaths
nearly froze before they could rise,
                                                        we breathed
faster. Inside your mouth it was safe and warm,
exploratory, we could taste, we could trust
the invitations      handles, switches, faucets, keys.

So many years of kissing
easy as breath.
                         No lethal droplets in the air     on my tongue
can you remember
                              when it felt like time was on our side?

Judy Rowe Michaels is a poet in the schools for the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and gives poetry workshops for teachers around the country. A member of the women's poetry critique and performance group Cool Women, she has published four poetry collections, including Reviewing the Skull (WordTech Editions), The Forest of Wild Hands (University Press of Florida), and a chapbook, Ghost Notes (Finishing Line Press) as well as three books on teaching writing. She has received residencies from Banff Centre for the Arts, Hedgebrook, and the MacDowell Colony. A six-time cancer patient, Michaels gives talks on ovarian cancer at NJ and NYC medical schools for the national program Survivors Teaching Students.