by Diane L. Tucker

I will call Cassiopeia out of the late summer sky
and show you her tipped "w", her two cupped hands, her two black breasts
(a torso draped across the constellations; you think thatís only Andromeda.
No! itís Cassiopeiaís long body too, leg bones tipped silver and spread,
remembering this attitude of birth: making way for her daughter).

Someday I will show you Cassiopeia at rest,
her tipped "w"; her two cupped hands; her two black breasts
slack and sparkling in space; the queen has retired,
lain on her throne; she has swept aside her robe of country stars;
has shown you her beauty in the sparse city night; has granted you an

Someday when I show you Cassiopeia
you will mark her tipped "w"; you will ready your palms to catch what she drops
from her cupped hands; you will long for her black breasts.
She lies until the end in tipped, zigzag repose, eager to stretch the bent hands
waiting to raise her breasts with each languid, starry breath.

What will you do when I show you Cassiopeia?
Will you see the first heaven crammed with ancient promises,
kings and queens and beasts in the almost black, lines
tracing the stars, lines that might be words or hands or breasts?

Copyright © 2003, Diane L. Tucker

Diane L. Tucker's poems have been published in numerous magazines, including TickleAce, Descant, The Danforth Review, Mars Hill Review, Recursive Angel, Canadian Literature and The Dalhousie Review. In 1996 British Columbia's Nightwood Editions released her first book of poems, God on His Haunches, which was shortlisted for the League of Canadian Poets' 1997 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Since then she has completed a novel and a second poetry manuscript, A Naked, Skinless Thing.

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