After Making Love In Winter

By Sharon Olds

At first I cannot have even a sheet on me,

anything at all is painful, a plate of 

iron laid down on my nerves, I lie there in the

air as if flying rapidly without moving, and

slowly I cool off—hot,

warm, cool, cold, icy, till the

skin all over my body is ice

except at those points our bodies touch like

blooms of fire. Around the door

loose in its frame, and around the transom, the

light from the hall burns in straight lines and

casts up narrow beams on the ceiling, a

figure throwing up its arms for joy.

In the mirror, the angles of the room are calm, it is the 

hour when you can see that the angle itself is blessed,

and the dark globes of the chandelier,

suspended in the mirror, are motionless—I can

feel my ovaries deep in my body, I 

gaze at the silvery bulbs, maybe I am

looking at my ovaries, it is 

clear everything I look at is real

and good. We have come to the end of questions,

you run your palm, warm, large, 

dry, back along my face over and 

over, over and over, like God

putting the finishing touches on, before

sending me down to be born.

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