The night the wind

The night the wind left you on my doorstep

drenched, shivering with rain and tears

you carried a small brown paper bag

stuffed with toothbrush, underwear,

white silk nightgown

hasty luggage, narrow escape

night flight from a hospital.

Prison you called it

where they put you

because you bought a dog

and maybe a dog was a crazy friend to make

at this precarious point in your life

but did they need to lock you up

without phone, wine, or pills

or your daughters, or me, or

all the hims that haunted your

inability to say no.

The night the wind carried you through my door,

you stood in the middle of the living room

alone you stripped

naked, your wet clothes in a pile at your feet,

you let the nightgown cascade over you

arms above your head as if

standing in a waterfall, as if

you might be cleansed by white silk.

I watched from the doorway. Did you hear

my gasp, know my impotence? The wind

leaving you here tonight to unfurl

your madness, your whispers, you

gliding into your darkness,

sad white sails full.

–Albert DeGenova

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