Sunday, March 13, 2011

Left at the Counter: from 360s

Scribbled on a stream of napkins:

from 360s
364: 226.


Because, men, she yearns still to
be desired,
she requires your flame, your
torrent of dizzying poetry –
those words that you
lavished on her
snowdrops in bloom.

Try to remember, gentlemen,
the tone of your voice
on that first date – how you
at moments,
lost your breath
rushing to speak to her –

a slight hesitation, trying to form
the perfect compliment for the

way she held her glass,

remember how she blushed, slightly,
at the sincerity of what you said, how her

turned away the moment you mentioned
the earth-hewn beauty of their color,

remember how she used to smile, eversosoftly,
when you noticed a

new pair of earrings,
a haircut,
a new perfume.

Now, men,
now she is just your wife,

and the only men who
need her without ceasing

are your sons.
and your daughters sneer at her behind their
own eyeshadowed smirks for the

sensuality that she left at the hospital
after the firstborn,

and she meanders her days with other people’s schedules,
managing the times of other people’s lives, balancing
the baseball practices, the Algebra tutoring, your drycleaning,
and the thumblessness of her own alleged career,

and inbetween gymnastic meets she follows
the perfect shapes of jumba CDs, dancing away that soft
middleaged riff that you no longer hold gently from behind

with a soft kiss on her neck, and

she does this because
that girl is still there.

That girl is not gone, buried under layers of
Oil of Olay and antioxidents and teeth whitening strips, that

girl who blushed is only dormant, wrapped
inside a bud made of
motherhood and wifehood and househood,

but she is there,

awaiting the spring of your words
to rain sweetly down upon her,

so that she may
bloom again.

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