Sometimes, I’m born in Boston.
I come of age in decrepit mansions,
bricked and blue-veined. A Japanese
garden circles a sculptured pool.
Inspired by my mother, professor
Of Eastern art, I attend Madame de Trop’s
school for girls. At eighteen, trickles
of Latin and Greek and Renaissance painting
flow from my brain, down the refined sinus
track into my classic nose and out of my
seasoned mouth. By twenty-one, I choose
for proper reasons either to research allergies
or to conduct the Paris Pops. Svelte,
each day I romp with African animals, swim
with Amazon fish from Brazil.
Nightmares for days.
My niece in pieces in a mudpuddle;
I am arrested: “Unclean!”
No member of my family is whole. All
Walking willfully, he comes to me
from all sides in a dream. Robed
in fire, filling my white caladiumed
garden, he says, “You are Jacob.
You loathe Esau. I will make you
symmetric again.” As I flee, he
pursues me, saying,
“I am what
I am a rag man,
the second coming,
your dark self—renamed,
Sybil Pittman Estess, Ph.D., was one of eight finalists for Poet Laureate of the State of Texas in 2009. She is the author of her new fourth poetry release: Maneuvers, 2010, by Inleaf Press. Estess has taught at the University of Houston, the University of St. Thomas, Rice University, Houston Community College, and Blinn Colleges. She has served as a literature panelist for both the Texas Commission on the Arts and the Cultural Arts Council of Houston as well as on the Adult Education Council of Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral. Sybil Pittman Estess was a founding organizer of the Houston Poetry Fest. Estess, along with Laura’s Poetry Group members Vivian Macias, Kelly Patton, and Sally Ridgway, gave a reading at our FPL Poetry Series in September of 2011.
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