Tree of Life Review



AIRMAIL: Bodhi Blues — A Year in India: Questioning The Maitreya Project by Jessica Falcone

COLUMN: Storiedmusic — The Night I Walked Out by DJ T’challah

NOVEL EXCERPT: In a State of Partition by Aneesha Capur

UP THE CREEK: Editor’s Notes — Art, Yoga, and Abu Ghraib

What She Wanted

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still...
— Yeats, “Leda and the Swan”

Not what you think. She imagined
love, yes, and the wings thrashing

with the force of it, white feathers,
white water, flashing all around,

and the breath at her neck, like a blade’s
keen side, one edge of his shameless

desire. And hers, she will tell you,
like a deft honing in cool water. She wanted him

like that. And she wanted him to risk
any small thing—his life, for instance,

if that were possible—to possess her.
She wanted him to traverse oceans, cross

silver bodies of perilous water; she wanted
him reflected there, and vulnerable—blind

to all but fierce need and the brave wind
teasing her hair; she wanted him unaware of wave

and precipitous rock. And she liked the word
tread, the idea of the watery fuck—

the cool shade at the steep, muddy banks
and the current in between. She wanted him

to own all that: the depths of need
and the body’s fallible knowledge.

How far one might go for love,
and the waters one crosses to get there.

Reprinted from The Revisionist’s Dream Avocet Press: Pearl River, NY (2001)

Renee Ashley

Renée Ashley

Renée Ashley is the author of three volumes of poetry: Salt, Brittingham Prize in Poetry, The Various Reasons of Light, The Revisionist’s Dream, and a chapbook, The Museum of Lost Wings, as well as a novel, Someplace Like This. She has received fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is a contributing editor to The Literary Review, and is on the faculty of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s low-residency MFA Program in Creative Writing. Her essay “Writing on the Brink: Peripheral Vision and the Personal Essay” will appear in the May/Summer issue of AWP’s Writer’s Chronicle.

SPOTLIGHT: A Voice Answering a Voice — A Conversation with Renée Ashley
POEM: The Beautiful Girl is Disturbed
POEM: What She Wanted
POEM: Why I Never Came (Apology to My Mother)