Colors and Outlines – Ruth Bavetta

for Ann


Ever since the last
biopsy, she has known

she is not safe, has never
been safe, from the invisible

procession of cells.
Since that day, when the ache

passed from the imaginary
to the real, she has been naked

beneath her skin.
The newspaper, carelessly flung

near her mailbox, brings reports
she cannot read. She counts

only April speeding past. Her last
pennies are about to be spent.

She will let them go
as she has let go of the desire

to get into her car
and just keep driving.

Ruth Bavetta

Ruth Bavetta’s poems have appeared in North American Review, Nimrod, Rattle, Slant, American Journal of Poetry, Tar River Poetry and many other journals and anthologies. Her fifth book, What’s Left Over, won the Future Cycle Poetry Book Prize for 2022.

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