The Invisible Woman

The woman begging in the cold,
The woman in second-hand clothes
With tattoos on vanishing skin,
The woman who disappears into denial,
Whose makeup runs with tears,
Who pierces her face with pain,
Who wears unseen depression
On the face of her loneliness.
She’s also the woman hate creates
With all her races and refugees.
The woman who dies
In abuse like Pagliacci’s Nedda.
All we know is surface tragedy.
The woman can be Muslim,
Her veil, a less vulgar place;
Her blind, a global face.
There are more invisible women
Who disappear without names,
Who suffer every indignity,
Who wear identity like a disguise
To distance what debases them.
Far away the invisible woman,
Far away the sum of her parts,
The aura of her being,
Growing fainter are the stars,
The milk of the moon,
The thread of life, the multiplicity,
The meaning of the earth,
The mother who covers her children
With the skirts of her garment.

Arab Woman

I saw a young Arab woman,
A spring wind was blowing her pale blue burqa
So that her body rippled through it like water
And the veil made her face appear.

Covered, she was transparent,
Diaphanous wavering reflection of blue iris,
Seashell in a glass pitcher,
Flower emerging from the sword,
Naked light under a lampshade.

Gracefully, her every step disrobed her,
Like a shadow on a mirror,
A palm leaf swaying at a window
Where sheer curtains are blowing.