UPON HEARING YOUR GOOD NEWS, I THOUGHT
You would. Iím older, true, but youíve 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 -ó
unstuffed from the stocking, it poured
and poured out of itself -ó we couldnít keep hold.
It was commedia dellí 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 couldnít 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 get lost in the stunning
rapidity of you as a child: yellow and fast,
slippery Tantalus, thumb sealed across
the hoseís copper valve and shaken,
waiting for something to happen:
an impossible swelling, explosion
in your hand, a replication, a toilet
flooding your motherís carpet.
I think of how your body
will produce a body, turn in on itself
and divide the soft core where
the fingers go -ó
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 Iím 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 which
opens and opens for air.
Date of Birth:
November 4, 1977
Midwest Quarterly, Wisconsin Review, Porcupine Literary Arts Magazine, Poetry Salzburg Review, Scrivener, Good Foot Magazine, DMQ Review, failbetter.com, Willard & Maple, Watershed
Winner of the 2004 Bart Baxter Award for Poetry in Performance
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