Everything dies, I said. How had that started? A tree? The winter? Not me, she said. And I said, Oh yeah? And she said, I’m reincarnating. Ha, she said, See you in a few thousand years! Why years, I wondered, why not minutes? Days? She found that so funny—Ha Ha—doubled over— Years, she said, confidently. I think you and I have known each other a few lifetimes, I said. She said, I have never before been a soul on this earth. (It was cold. We were hungry.) Next time, you be the mother, I said. No way, Jose, she said, as we turned the last windy corner.
from MAGDALENE: POEMS by Marie Howe.
Copyright © 2017 by Marie Howe.
Used by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Marie Howe (1950- ) is the author of four poetry collections, including Magdalene (W. W. Norton, 2017). Howe has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia, and NYU.