Toi Derricotte – I Give In To An Old Desire

Toi DerricotteToi Derricotte (April 12, 1941 -)

I lost so much
of the world’s beauty, as if I were watching
every shining gift
on its branch with one eye. Because
I was hungry. Because I was waiting
to eat, a self
crawling about the
world in search
of small things. I remember a small thing, my mother’s hat,
a tea
hat or cocktail
hat that sat on top of her
perfect face—petals, perhaps
peonies, flaming out, like
the pink feathers of some exotic
bird. Her mother
had been a cook in the South. She grew up
in the home of
wealthy white people. Hesitant
toward her own
beauty, unable
to protect mine, there were things
she never talked about. She said silence
was a balm. It sat
on top of her head, something of exaltation
and wonder exploding
from the inside like
a woman in orgasm. One artificial flower
I have desired
to write about for years.