4.09 / September 2009

Love Is Another Thing

Sitting at the table
spinning the creamer
running her fingers through sugar
the kids spilled at supper, Sue

suddenly says, “Don,
love is another thing.”
Since love is another thing
I have to go rent a room,

leave behind eight years,
five kids, the echoes of me
raging at noon on the phone,
raging at night, the mist

of whose fallout ate her skin,
ate her bones, left her a kitten
crying high in an oak
let me free, let me free

The Grammar Years

On that train an hour ago,
though he did not see me,
I saw a teacher I had years ago,
a proper man was he

who in the margins of my papers
wrote sermons in a script
so perfect and so neat
they looked like samplers.

But on that train an hour ago
I glowed in exultation when I saw
his index finger pluck
a small erratum from his nose.

Women Who Walk Like Men

They seem to be everywhere now,
women who walk like men.
With hair cropped in a paint brush,
bullets for eyes and knives for noses,
they walk long halls, hips so still
they can have no pelvis.
Then one day you meet one
and become her friend.
A week later you still wonder:
Are all the women who walk like men
wildflowers, really,
locked in a hothouse, craving the sun?