UPON HEARING YOUR GOOD NEWS, I THOUGHT
I'm older, true, but you've always done
the growing-up things first: kiss, man, blood,
funny cigarette, piss on the stick
already painting a big blue window.
Remember the yellow water-snake --
unstuffed from the stocking, it poured
and poured out of itself -- we couldn't keep hold.
It was commedia dell' arte in our bedroom,
that condom-banana combo flying,
flogging the air, that old miser.
And then it got stiff and bruised,
a dirty cab color with our fingerprints
where we couldn't leave it alone
-- and we left it in a drawer then.
It sealed itself against the wood
and grew thin and eventually
exploded on our socks and underwear.
I'm saying I get lost in the stunning
rapidity of you as a child: yellow and fast,
slippery Tantalus, thumb sealed across
the hose's copper valve and shaken,
waiting for something to happen:
an impossible swelling, explosion
in your hand, a replication, a toilet
flooding your mother's carpet.
I think of how your body
will produce a body, turn in on itself
and divide the soft core where
the fingers go --
If anything, your green eye looks
up through me, examining empty
rooms and rooms and rooms and shakes
my head in gentle admonishment, feeds me
until I'm too full to breathe, slips my hand
up the happy sock-puppet of your
idiot pregnancy, caricature of womanhood:
wobbly eyed blue, a rose mouth smeared
in washable marker opens and opens for air.
Wisconsin Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, Plainsongs, No Exit, The Paumanok Review, Medicinal Purposes Literary Review, The Blue Mouse, Nidus & Pindeldyboz
Founder of Screaming Emerson Press
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