To the Woman in the Salt

Woman of your own armored body,
stone of your heavy burdens.
If I could, I would give you water
from my hands and watch it dissolve

your salt. Your thirsty lips pressed on my palm
as if the heat of your mouth was the warmth
of morning—where a stag rests in the soft
grass until the fog begins to lift, waits
for light at the forest edge—

I know you miss daylight and walks,
and the word disability, its five hard
syllables, a knuckled fist at your throat—
at night when you can’t sleep, the blades
of the fan spin like dancing Sufis.

I want to see you beginning to wake
shaking the salt from your lids
as you open your eyes and taste
the ripe figs bruising dry ground,
ready to shed their skin.

Meanwhile, it’s August again, and the peace
lilies are growing large in the garden, dusting
snowy pollen over their dark green leaves
while we wait for you to thaw.





Brooke Lehmann, Program Director of Charlotte Center for Literary Arts, is a poet and creative that draws inspiration from nature, fashion, and her lifelong love of the piano. Her poems have been featured or are forthcoming in various journals, including Tar River Poetry and Tipton Journal . She is also a longlist finalist for the 2022 Palette Poetry Sappho Prize for Women Poets. You can see more of work at

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