At first, she sat in the corner sulking.
There was still a powder of stone on her skin.
Her shoulder, soft as a cat’s,
turned hard rounded in the palm,
but I was used to that.
After all, wasn’t that the idea?
To find a melting point for marble,
to have the crest of her hip push back,
flutter of breath
from the small cave of her mouth.
I just wasn’t ready for the opposite:
my want making her soft,
her hate reversing the charm:
petrifaction of love.
After four days I prayed
some god would take her back.
She wasn’t eating.
She drew caricatures of me
on the studio floor with a stick, saying,
Can’t I go outside? What are you looking at?
Don’t you have any friends?
Then nasty, knowing my weakness:
Can’t you make me a mate —
someone good-looking, younger, sexier?
When she stopped moving
I would pause
in the doorway from the garden,
crunching an apple, a sculptor again,
remaking her with my eyes,
smaller like a child.
They said we had a son,
but what do those liars know.
I took out my chisel.
The boy rose smiling
in the gravel of his mother’s arms.