Poem for Miss Meade
When I compare his wrists to a spoon handle, what I mean to say is:
I can't have anything of my own, not even the soup. Every love poem
is really a broken bone kaleidoscope, turning. The hands disguised
as a knife fight disguised as a pile of fruit in my lap have finally rotted
down to their wrinkled wood pits and my tongue hasn't the heart to make
knots of all these stems. Instead, it replaces the words forgive me with
axe handle, substitutes flesh with an undiscovered sea machine.
Every line designed to hurt a little less than its meaning. Which is
why all the men I ever wanted have become the one time I slept
soundly in an empty house.
And Even Smaller Nails
I should probably tell you
I know where you hide your diary.
I forget what I was looking for
when I found it. I think I was trying
to find the insecticide, or maybe
the green dress missing all of its buttons.
Sometimes I read it after we fight,
when I've locked myself in our room.
I never start from the beginning, just open it
wherever it wants and go from there.
I almost tore out June 11th once,
on principle, but decided against it.
The parts about me are my favorite.
I like how, each time you describe my body,
it is as if it's the first time you've seen itó
the gang of freckles orbiting my navel.
My crooked pinky toe. The birthmark
beneath my left breast, shaped
like a tiny hammer.
The first time I read what you thought
of my orgasms, I got pretty upset about it.
Until last Thanksgiving, when your mother
told me, over sweet potato pie, how much
you used to love helping your father
slaughter the chickens. How you would
take off all your clothes & chase them
around the yard, Screaming like a savage.
How sometimes you'd come to the dinner table,
face painted in blood, a bright white feather
tucked behind each ear.