Morality by Dale Champlin

Remember that I am your creature…
                  —Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Scarlet-lipped, magnetic, full blown and unmothered,
I am the blank page my maker writes on. I was a beautiful 

unblemished creature. Clean as a crow-picked bone,
pure as virgin milk and batter before eggs are added,

bright as an albino fawn, an ivory tusk before it’s hacked,
a lampshade, Elmer’s glue daubed on a Valentine—

a lace of cloud cover snagged on a mountain peak—my
beautiful innocence unfettered. Yes, this is a God poem.

And through all this where was my mother in her nightgown
of starlight, her hands deep in laundry and her soul purer 

than pure? How she slaved over my Halloween costumes, 
the ghost sheet, the snow queen, the albatross. At first 

my soul was pure as Cool Whip, a waning moon and linen,
doves at a wedding, the bride’s gown, and cabbage moths. 

It wasn’t a sin of omission but one of addition. My maker
spoon-fed me lobster traps and blue oysters, India ink and

wolves, purple pansies, and licorice, black holes and deep caves, 
an oceanic trench and cockroach kisses, Black Swan and Narcissus, 

leotards splayed into unnatural contortions. My childhood 
A Tale of Two Cities and High Wind in Jamaica, my heroines 

mad and locked up, my play house an ossuary, my jewels
coal-dark, night-dark until he and I share the same dark.

One thought on “Morality by Dale Champlin

  1. Wow Dale, said he, old acquaintance from the din of silence, yet observant, of the fluttering of wings, creative and loving, seeing what should be seen, as we consciously control our flight, above turbulence, in favor of sanctity and downy feathers wafting, undulating.

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