Claudia Emerson

(13 January 1957 / Chatham, Virginia)

The Spanish Lover

There were warnings: he had, at forty, never
married; he was too close to his mother,
calling her by her given name, Manuela,
ah, Manuela — like a lover; even her face

had bled, even the walls, giving birth to him;
she still had saved all of his baby teeth
except the one he had yet to lose, a small
eyetooth embedded, stubborn in the gum.

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