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Mary K Gowdy

Mary K Gowdy is a poet, author, and recent graduate from the University of North Texas. Her poems have been published in the literary magazines Earthwinds and Better Than Starbucks. She’s published a fantasy novel The One-Sided Coin and is working on her first poetry collection.

In Her Hand

She peers behind her shoulder, creating wrinkles, ripples
around her jaw that disappear when she looks forward.
Her bare feet peek from beneath the slit in the hem
of her maroon gown as she descends the white stone
of the spiraling stairs. I don’t know what she feels,
but I long for the stairs’ prickle, how they leave a ghost’s tickle
on her skin—a memento she holds between her toes.

She falls into the pool at the bottom.
The splash of her disturbance diminishes into murmurs
of water falling into place around her. As she turns
to face me, the liquid fills her hair, unfurling
it into a delta of strands around her face. Waves flow
back and forth across the surface between us, light illuminating their crests white.

She slips a hand through the water—first a fingertip, then a knuckle, a palm facing upward
breaks forth to extend in the dry air below my chin,
holding out to me nothing, containing everything:
tissues stitched into a fabric of skin, a soft-down of body.
I ache for the taste of her hand.

Her fingers crawl back towards the water, their tips caressing the air.
The water heaves inside-out, upside-down, tightening into a spiral dangling from her hand.
With a snap, she throws it aside,
a cloth cast off into the corner.

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