4.12 / December 2009

Bad Wife Spankings

My wedding dress is stale in the closet.
You crumble drunk on the stairs,
still plagiarizing your vows,

while elsewhere, girls are getting married.
The tablecloth wilts beneath the roast
and the cats lap up the melting butter

before it hardens in the china dish.
The buried box, full of all your gifts—
regret, tattoos, razorblades, a limping pit bull.

I am the archeologist, digging through this city,
scrubbing your shit stains from the toilet,
unearthing the hidden town below us,

where my dress was clean and you were happy.
I rewrite myself while you lie about dancing so close,
dreaming of me, and putting your whole hand inside her.

I saw her car in the parking lot.
I saw your lips on her neck
and her cock in your hand.

Insomnia with Solomon

My mother calls. I should get a flu shot.
I should brush my hair and start saving
more money. I should tell who my soul
loveth, and why I am called the fastest
among women. The neighbor’s dog
continues to bark all night. I should use
CFL bulbs, stop eating red meat, take
the train to work more often. I should
call the keeper of my vineyards and ask,
red or white with edamame? I should
adorn my neck with chains of gold, let
my lover lie all night betwixt my breasts.
But she snores! I should vacuum, take
the trash to the chute, get my car washed,
have my eggs harvested, find a sperm
donor, because the sun hath looked upon
me and mine own vineyard I haven’t kept.
The book I left at the office, was it under
a stack of papers, or had it fallen to the floor?
Why did I forget the book I forgot? Is it
worth fighting football traffic on Saturday
to read the venerated essay on why I should
never end a line in a poem on the word the?
I should not stir up nor awake my love
til she please. Lord knows she works hard
for the money while I pet the cat and google
sperm donors. The tender grape gives a good
smell. But the little foxes spoil the vines.
I should pay more attention to fertility,
the importance of female orgasm in conception,
how analogous heterosexual positions are
to lesbian ones. By night on my bed, I sought
sleep. I sought him, but I found him not.
If every man hath his sword upon his thigh,
where should a lesbian keep her sword?
We keep ours in the bedside table drawer.
I should unload the dishwasher tomorrow,
buy birdseed and bread. I should stop gazing
at houses I cannot afford, houses with fountains
of gardens and a well of living waters. I wish
my lover would blow upon my garden more.
This blanket is too light for the growing chill;
I should find the down quilt in the basement.
I should wash these sheets tomorrow, fold last
week’s laundry. I should really get some sleep.
I should spend more time calling my mother.


It rains. Slick grass sticks
to my ankles. I run.
Drops decorate the pond
as stitches pattern quilts.
I have not been to Paris
for ten seasons. I hear
the canals are flooding.

Forty years ago, moon dust
stuck to boots. We watch
a documentary on the landing.
Children dressed in astronaut
pajamas jumped like bunnies
in aged living rooms.
I love your affection for Space.
I tell you so.
Your lips meet mine.

You trim fat from the meat.
I practice calisthenics.
Babies germinate in your womb,
but nothing blooms.

This is no season for harvest.

Love Poem in Three Parts

I knew you only by your clothes for the longest time,
a soft cotton shirt, worn thin, ribs whaleboned, framed.
One day you emerged in different vestments and I
walked on confused. Your skin burned my palm
when I dared touch you; your nipples pointed north.

In Florida, it rains like God hates you. I walk alone
and bitten by harsh plashes. The coffee is watered
down. Everything diluted. Your voice, hollow
across the country, pinging across cables, digitized
and empty. You say let lips do what hands do, tracing
my nipples with your tongue, drawing the syllables
out, wrapping your voice around me as I giggle.
I want your fist inside me.

You’re so pretty. It’s what my mother can’t stop
saying. She’s thinking about those glossy girls
in magazines I kissed until the pages were limp
and newsprint showed through the faces. You
are twisting dreaded locks between two fingers
and watching my father slowly sip his coffee.
He’s trying not to regard your nipples. We
were caught in the rain. Your thin cotton shirt
is soggy and transparent. You’ve spelled love
on my neck. A bruise is a bruise. The phone
rings and rescues my parents with details
to attend. The party is tomorrow. We are wearing
white and clasping hands. We sleep like silverware
in my childhood bed. Through thin walls we hear
my parents talk and fuck. You dip your face
into me like a kitten drinking milk, your whole face
disappearing into the shallow bowl.