The Best Literary Writing About Mothers and Motherhood

I Don’t Care by Sharon Dolin

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I Don’t Care

that I’m silhouetted by fire
or gold is the color of my back-
drop. When a man drops in
on me like a drink at the bar—only exotic
with pomegranate juice or cassava
or the acrid tears of his estranged wife—
I want to wipe myself clear to a new portico
where lights are not dripping
salt sculptures of some forgotten

It takes no time to know me:
only nights dense as ground walnuts
rubbed together with sugar and cloves

I thought I would have written but
the passion’s not there, only the pleasure
like we’re a new savory being tasted
amid sighs as we shop for shoes—
so American in our hunger for things
to placate us, to satiate that gaping
wonder or the anxious edge—
at the beginning of morning when
we awaken, pour ourselves jittery,
ceramic with coffee

I don’t care what gadgetry
you can buy to motorize
my desire—I want to waken into the wonder
of you wakening into me: I want
to feel the fever of wanting
the grief of partings
the exhilaration of us as a series
of opening doors


Sharon Dolin is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Manual for Living (2016); Serious Pink (2015 reissue);Whirlwind (2012); and Burn and Dodge (2008), which won the AWP Donald Hall Prize in Poetry. Her other awards include theWitter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress, a Fulbright Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, and a Drisha Arts Fellowship. Her work has appeared in dozens of magazines as well as in these recent anthologies: Short Flights: Aphorism Anthology, ThePoets Quest for God, The Incredible Sestina Anthology, Ecopoetry, Poetry in Medicine, and the Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poets. She directs the Center for Book Arts Annual Poetry Chapbook Competition. Since 2014, she directs and teaches in the international creative writing workshop, Writing About Art in Barcelona.


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