what if I began with the duck’s egg 

its glossy carmine yolk bleeding 

on the lake’s new summer path 

its blue-green shell turned 

inside out 

if I say the wind 

was frightening, that in the early part of the storm 

I only wanted him and nobody else would do 

should I go farther and tell 

when he slept beside me 

I pressed my pelvis against him 

like a drowsy springtime 

animal but couldn’t uncross 

my arms to touch him not even 

his arms or face 

now that he’s left for home 

I’m flung wide open 

do I need to say every day I’m filled 

with the creature fear of not being cherished 

when for you did this become 

a poem about longing 

draw an x to mark the place 



Color picture of author Gretchen Marquette. Photographed as a selfie. Marquette is offering us a smile, and wearing a winter gray hat, and som cool earrings.
Gretchen Marquette

Gretchen Marquette is the author of May Day (Graywolf Press, 2016). Her poetry has appeared in Poetry, Harper’s, the Paris Review, Tin House, on PBS Newshour, and elsewhere. She lives in Minneapolis.

“Ache” was first published in Heaven (TLR, Summer 2016).