“BEYOND” and “Beyond”

Issue 26 by Elaine Nadal

BEYOND

I found the answers

when the sky was

layered in pink, lavender,

and celestial blue.

I am a medicine woman

though my breasts have

never produced milk, and

my womb is barren.

I’m not bad seed.

My name has a face comprised

of geometrical shapes and eighth notes.

I am whole. I delight in the taste

of strawberries before I slumber.

The sweetness makes up a moon,

and I dream of incredible things

that I can make happen, despite

being worn down by distorted

figures and dismissed by pale caresses.

My body heals.

Our bodies heal

on our own

with the help of others—

with the love from BEYOND.

Beyond

I wanted to be painted as a dark-skinned goddess

with hair as dark as a raven’s plumage,

a guitar-shaped waist with the flexibility of a serpent,

small bosom perfectly standing, strong thighs,

and longer legs with no stretch marks.

I wanted her to look like me, but not be me.

I wanted to be painted with eyes less droopy, alert and almost happy,

with a mysterious smile that hides the space between my two bottom teeth—

nude with soft skin, erotic without seeming promiscuous.

I wanted to be surrounded by white camellias or perhaps surrounded by nothing.

Between the void, I’d be the light,

but he painted me fragmented—

with cubes even on my buttocks—

holding a guitar that covered my sunflower.

My eyes were drawn to her angular face,

a face with blurry corners, lips of disappearing strawberries,

and eyes closed or almost opened—meditative, peaceful, perhaps disheartened.

Oh, the heart offered with all its trinkets and treasures, rancors and pleasures—

to be unraveled or misunderstood—

and then, like a kiss it came to me:

the artist, in his moment of inspiration, captured what I couldn’t see.

About the Author

Elaine Nadal

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Elaine Nadal is a writer and educator. She holds a master’s degree in liberal studies from Wesleyan University. She also has degrees in Spanish secondary education and fine arts (music). A Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, she has been published in several journals, including Pilgrimage Magazine, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Arsenic Lobster, and Haunted Waters Press. Her first book of poetry Sweat, Dance, Sing, Cut. was published by Finishing Line Press in February.