Joann Deiudicibus

The Naming

The night you burst,
sudden summer storm,
I bloomed back,
your Honolulu queen.
Deeply rooted in dreams
before fruit fell to spoils,
we named her desire.
Eden was stilled by a single,
bitter pill that killed
the magic one-night spell.
Yes, I whispered, this is
what I wanted
. Women
must whisper, try out
first-sounds, put on
language like faces, voices
unknown, aloud—anonymous
as foundlings in church-side baskets.

What would it mean to make an us,
a small mirror that wears your own
strange face, speaks my worst tongues?
How I undug what we had sown
in fields thick with hibiscus.
How we gleaned detritus from seed.
How I had never heard myself say,
Yes, I want this, I belong
in this garden…yes, I belong
with you, tending our lot.


Joann Deiudicibus teaches writing and poetry courses in New York’s Hudson Valley. Her poems and articles about poetry appear in WaterWrites, A Slant of Light, & Reflecting Pool (Codhill Press), The Comstock Review, Typishly, Poetry Quarterly, The Shawangunk Review, Chronogram, Affective Disorder and the Writing Life (Palgrave Macmillan). Ask her about true crime, cats, and confessionalism.