for Marilyn Hacker
Outside, the clouds part
and a cold sun silvers
the sea. Inside,
as butterflies and swimming women
surrender the mantelpiece
to polar bear cubs and bright berries,
I lie on the sofa reading
the Qur’an, a heart-shaped cushion
tucked under my arm.
Like caviar-hunters, the surgeons
have filleted my chest, scooped out
every last suspect cell.
Their blue dye haloes my nipple:
for a year my breast will weep
lapis lazuli tears.
Online, a man
with eyes of dark fire
says he admires my courage.
I am not brave.
All I have done is submit
to the will of the seasons, embrace
an untranslatable change.
Naomi Foyle is a British-Canadian poet, science fiction novelist and essayist. Her many publications include the eco-SF quartet The Gaia Chronicles and three poetry collections including Adamantine (Red Hen Press, 2019). The co-founder of British Writers in Support of Palestine, she visited Lebanon in 2016 as a guest of the Muslim charity Interpal, an experience she first wrote about in the essay ‘Palestine and (Human) Nature,’ published in the Nature issue of Critical Muslim.