Cara Dees

The Mound

(Your body weakening, I change the bed around you.)

The largeness of it
stayed me. I had forgotten
how the rise and slope is not

nothing, how we have shape,
an oval that is real, and real,
undying, headlong moss.

I looked away when you did.
The mound rose and fell
and did not think of blushing.

In your steady, anti-septic
panic, you could not have been
more naked, more at mercy –

you, with the windswept face,
the shameless biceps!
So I switched the red

cotton sheets for the new beige
silk feast; I tucked away
your silvering curve.

Those last weeks,
you did not speak of your god
who spoke only of summer.

His was a hugeness turned
anatomical. Spent and wordless,
you refused to humor him.

I fell to smoothing over you
the threads’ dry shelter.
We kept our own company.

Cara Dees holds an MFA degree from Vanderbilt University and is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Arkansas. A former English teacher in France and editor at Nashville Review, she is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a scholarship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Her work appears or is forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, Beloit Poetry Journal, Diode Poetry Journal, Indiana Review, Southern Humanities Review, Unsplendid and other publications.