12/31/2020, 7am


by Dorothea Biba Naouai


This rain streams

soft and steady

20/20 is 



The ripe and yellow 

moon releases 

the year that 

ushered in

the dis-ease


Under my rainbow


a train station lamp 

casts its early morning


Shadow, within which

I lower 

my mask

and breathe in

the sweet air

Cat, Cicadas, Breath


by Dorothea Biba Naouai


The old, yellow cat

Keeps vigil

Behind my right hip

As I wrestle 

With my mind

In the early hours


Her juicy purring

Mingles with the trill

Of late summer cicadas,

Deep in the garden 


And with the steady 

Breathing of

My sleeping mate


This new phase

In our long life together

Has a quality of 


Of large muscle,

Stretched to capacity


Nothing like 

The quick scalding

Of arguments over

Home repair

Or recalcitrant children

That punctuated

Our earlier years,



Each now struggles

Filigree wings, jeweled

And yearning to pulse,

Press against too small

Craquelure chrysalides


We hold hands during the day

And interlace our legs at night;

Are you ok?

Are we ok?

We have been here before

In another iteration


Let this love

Which has long 


So many so well

Come through the

Dark passage,

Fortified yet lighter,

Free of the tics and spasms 

Of the household’s 



My breath joins in

The early morning mantra 

Choir of beasts;



And again

In the Turning


by Dorothea Biba Naouai


Now listening to the rain

Fall gently, lulling


Now my beloved 

Softly breathing

And the wide open 

Possibility of loss, of

Gain, of loss again


Now the broadened hips 

Awaking and 

The memory of

Fertility and gestation,

Blooming, fruit


Now the heat in the body

And the moisture

On the skin, 

Now the throat, 

The voice and its secrets


Now the spine curving,

Gravity astonishing

Now the deep breath

And the remembering


Now the beauty, 

The celebration

Now thanks

Now God and god

Now life

Now Life

Dorothea Biba Naouai is a hospice nurse liaison who writes poetry and practices yoga and meditation.

Twitter: @DorotheaNaouai