TUESDAY: First Day of Advent


In memory, Jacqueline Cooley, 1944-2018. Copyright is held by the author.

Our Advent calendar, crimson edging
green felt, you sewed twenty-five years back,
waits to be hung up. I must stop crying.

Little pockets number days until Christ’s birth,
each holding a hook. I must stop crying.
I’ll loop a star on every one as the days come on.

I must stop crying. That day together
we hung this calendar where I will fix it soon
by the front window. Until Christ’s birth.

You sewed these pieces, you complained.
“Why do it?” I shot back. I must stop
crying. We started quarrelling after that.

Only sex could fix it. I. Have. To. Stop.
That crying day you put this in my hands
to tack up in in gold light. Christ’s birth.

Stop crying. I have the first star here
in my right hand. Christ’s birth. Our window’s gold!
We couldn’t stop crying that day — both of us —

until we made love. The star glistens, holds
my stare. It steadies, years on fire, here.
Christ’s birth, the star glistens, gold. The window,

the stars, trade faces. Transfigurations.
Twenty-five years. The first day of Advent.
I must stop, I must stop crying.

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