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5/2/12 03:13 pm

They did not make this world for us

They did not make this world for us.
They made it for the lovers;
the early hour of dawn suggests a tryst.
The joy a blossom takes in its initial yawn,
or a bare branch in its undress before a bath,
is not for us. We leave no room for innocence or subtlety.

(We know this . . . it is why we so often flee
to hide and doze beneath the weight of forests.
I feel smaller in your arms. We make a love.
The beacons of the night avert their eyes.
A stream applauds us as, instinctively,
you reach for me when we are walking,
for my hand.

It is in these silent entretemps, the meadowed fogs
before a sunrise, that we learn the meaning
of a morning. For a certain few it is metamorphosis.
For most, at best, invasion,
penetration without due consideration.
Yet the birds have learned to greet the day. They sing away
the darkness and the sleep.
They shame us from our beds.

This world is not for us. We are not programmed for predestination.
We are slungshot into life; flying so fast, we wonder
where, again, is it we need to want to go?
We orbit the Earth, too ill-at-ease to light,
to make a nest. We trace paths
in the ozone.

4/14/12 10:43 am

what birdlike figure

What birdlike figure, they will say.  What poise and grace.
I will not tilt my coffee in their presence, spill it on their tiles.
I will not smile.  After all, my teeth are falling out.
(What good to poison such a fount of compliment with one true smile?)

So delicate in bone structure, they will say.  All right.
I give you that one.  One more lie won't hurt.
The lights will shine brighter while I am writing,
tonight, if this one lie is told and is believed.
They sit, eager for my agreement.  I lie.  I say:
I ate before the gig, the interview, the drive, the fall.
Whose lie is it, though, if they are nourished with it
rather than deformed?

The truth is that I have no fame, yet.  I lie alone,
wasting away inside a closet.
To smooth the edges, I have pasted up the photos
of all of the liars before me.

4/14/12 10:28 am

to what end?

To what end
do I make coffee?  With what caution, now,
do I pour the fat into its can
after a meal is made?
What impetus attempts to nurse
open my eyes, to get me out of bed?
Not even the tulips, round and white,
in their vase upon the sill, dawn smoothing
over them as over a forehead,
can answer this, this morning.

What measure of my prowess I have had,
has been from men.  On the corner in Montréal:
"oui, vous êtes belle!"  However, in America,
they saw me more clearly.  I dug up the cheapest ones,
sparked them to life, and then regretted it.
Now they, reanimated, walk the earth, dissatisfied but aren't they all,
cheating death.  No telling how many girls they have had
after me.

Each night before retiring
I remind myself not to eat the next day, and the next.
Every morning I forget.
I eat the day.
My belly grows and grows.
And to what end?

What I want is a wreath of roses
draped about my neck.
A rewarding crowd admitting
I have done my best--

But they only come out clapping--
when I am-- thin!

4/14/12 10:21 am

nod to eve

I wooed the snake unguardedly,
thinking: all this must be good.
What trick can such a pleasant God
play upon man?

It is the thought that brings
my downfalls, seriatim,
through each of my later lives.
Each boot upon my head
twitches to force
a nod to Eve.

3/31/12 11:30 pm

when sunlight is too bright

When sunlight is too bright- the way they shaped this room
it blazes on the wall, on every wall.
No tapestry can dull it.  They are burning.
It shines like a scream, cutting the morning.

Beneath it, they can hear the pound and pause of key,
but do not inquire.  Am I not violent enough?
They sit with shades drawn, while I, yes,
I can see the grasses.
They are no reward.

They, in their freshness, feel the dew
only as morning and more morning.

3/31/12 11:21 pm


You were in trouble, you say.  I smile sweetly-
I can be benign.  (After all, I chose not to go with you.)
You helped me out last night, locking your fingers
with mine, being overt, as a girl is wont to do
when in that situation.  But, of course,
my loyalties lie elsewhere.
(Not where you think, as our talk turns to ovaries.
Ovaries!  How little I have to say
about them.  I have two; they revolt; end of story.)
What does the paper think of you now,
as I make these notes?
You wear what you wear, speak how you speak, and yet you curl your hair
so carefully.
You draw me close and for a minute
we are sisters.
Well, that's what you wanted, isn't it?

3/31/12 11:14 pm


My kisses did not wake you,
so here I sit, downstairs, alone, although you said
you wanted to wake early.
I made the coffee.  It is cooling
on its plate.  After all, I will not drink it.
What signal have I
that you still love me?  You cast me off, aloof,
during the day, but curl into me at night.
In your dreams, anyway, I am still whole.

If I were uglier, the answer would come freely.
I wait for it, alone, as I skip breakfast.

3/31/12 11:12 pm

waking up after a night of dumpster diving

The sink is filled with dishes.  The black bag is there,
Krispy Kreme donuts, mashed together, your biggest triumph.
I pretended to be sleeping
as you scaled the wall.
"Why are all the boxes smashed?" you wondered.
Possibly, they knew you were coming.

Turkey bacon, dated March 6.
"You can have it," I say.  Tomorrow will be April.
I accept the onions and the rice.
In the dark, no one to care, we help ourselves
to empty milk crates.

We are reduced to this- no, no.
We have been elevated.
What luxury, we both have found,
has been cast off-
the spoiling meat will feed us for a week.

3/31/12 10:56 pm


curiosity, says husband. she shakes her head.
their marriage, first a luscious apple, then a rotten one-
the child that tethered them, surprised, together-
the death that split them, nuclear, apart.

curiosity, he says now. she understands.
when newness fades, only a sooty silhouette remains.
theirs is the silence after sound.
theirs is the silence of a meadow, which,
bled of its life, is only host
to grasses and more grasses.

curiosity, indeed. a stone pitched,
worn and warm, like every curve
of every other girl, into the meadow.
she is the burrower, now, blinded by daylight,
emerging to examine, cautiously,
surprised, the foreign stone.

3/31/12 10:54 pm


oddly, my happiness, such as it is,
does not return to see our boots, three pairs, home,
lined up upon the mat, dusted with pollen.

i cook chicken, bake bread-
an appreciation of the stove.
he continues sleeping in his clothes.
the talk is of ticks and of rain.
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