The king of utopia sits on a fat horse,
its blonde fetlocks stiff as wood.
He rides the night over and over again looking for
sin, what has been missed, something to make his reign less lonely.
His queen, meanwhile, rests in her bath, poking its soft bubbles
with her index finger, singing a song that lullaby-ed her to sleep
long before things got so perfect and benign.
She knows she lives in a place that doesn’t exist
that the dog who waits for her next to the tub
hopes to lick a strand of water, each drop a bead,
from her white shoulder
is not really there but is a rug where she will step,
that will drink her dry.
And her king, in a canter through every neighborhood,
will return in the morning, with nothing to give her,
no one to blame.
Nancy Devine teaches high school English in Grand Forks, North Dakota,
where she lives with her husband Chuck and their two dogs, Whitey and
Yo-yo. She co-directs the Red River Valley Writing Project, a local site
of the National Writing Project. Her poems have appeared recently in Bear
River Journal, Main Channel Voices, Matter 09: Fuel, 42opus, New Verse
News, VOX, Thieves Jargon and Stirring. She has work forthcoming in
Minnetonka Review, IfPoetry Journal and Matter 10:Village.