A Rescue Plan for the Woman who Lays in Bed Whining

Tyra would not get out of bed on her thirtieth birthday
or let me celebrate with her in any way
although she left the door open so I could let myself in
she tucked the blankets into all her edges
including her feet, with only her face bare
stubborn and grimacing

I tried to untuck her for a tickle into laughter
but she had armed herself against that favored tactic
I told her I would buy anything she wanted
or that she could buy it herself
because she was so much more successful than me
–nothing.

Then I huffed up my frustration and almost turned away
I muttered, Well, you’ll have to give up
And keep me company anyways
Because all of the idiots are going to do stupid things
And start dying off around this age

She didn’t say she didn’t care or cry or moan
so I looked over at her to find my reward
that she was grinning, so that was what worked
she slowly dressed and let me take her out
for dinner and dessert

now I refuse to answer my boyfriend
because I am thirty and unlike Tyra
spend almost all my time sleeping
so he prompts me with the baby voice
he uses to represent our puppy
a voice I could never argue with

and says, I have one hero, my mommy!
Oh really, Grendel. Why is that? Mommy hasn’t ever
accomplished anything but giving you belly rubs
and making you dog food omelets.
Not true, mommy! You saved me three times!
Really?
Yes.

The time there was a price on my head
You saved me from the Russians in Lynn
Who kept me in a cage and lied about my heritage
as if being a purebred would make me worth more than I already am
you saw past my knotted hair, bad breeding and ill manners
and paid an exorbitant price for me, always saying I was worth every penny

then at the dog park, when that scary dog put me in his mouth
and shook me while I screamed and bled
and all the other pet owners stood stunned
you ran past them, punched that dog in the mouth
and rushed me off to the hospital
where you held my paw and sang me songs

and then when our house burned down
you picked me up before you even put your shoes on
and carried me out snuggling my nose into your jacket
to protect me from smoke inhalation
and cooed to me so I wouldn’t be frightened
and rubbed my feet so they wouldn’t be as cold
as your own feet were getting, bare against the snow

you have done way more for me
mommy, than Tyra could ever have dreamed
of doing good for anyone by the time she was thirty
so how is she more successful than you, again?
I don’t know, I answered, but I’m feeling hungry
so I got up smiling, and dressed slowly for our dinner party

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Idiot box

I am rooting through the trash bin

Of my discarded friendships

Balled up like so many old Kleenex

Some of them bloody

Some worn thin

Trying to figure out what happened

There were Alicia, Christine and Mandy

Who got boyfriends and decided they didn’t need me

And perhaps left with the thought

That I was some sort of closeted, platonic lesbian

Just because I liked them so much

Then there was Drake

who in his sex alone was different

He would recite Sylvia Plath

From memory and edit my poetry

I’d drunkenly ask him to go skinny dipping

I discarded his Kleenex

After crying into it

The result of an illwilled

Academic argument

And now there is Lavinia

Sitting in the corner of the cafe

With pigtails and a sour expression on her face

Who says I’m so sick of this mysogynistic idiot box of a graduate degree

It’s to the point that I’m flirting with misandry

She is chewing open mouthed and spitting rage

We have an engaging dinner

Then she demurs, so I pay

Considering a Friendship

I made what was supposed to be a fun dinner
awkward for everybody.
the next day,
i slid to the floor of the library

where there are
so many stories outside of me.
i imagine her coming closer
to ask what i’m reading
i imagine she doesn’t want
anything from me
that shes just asking
out of curiosity

if there’s one thing
of which im certain
its that i am a very
difficult woman
even for her, i wasnt easy.
she had to prop me up
and support me.

but i imagine i deserve
a place to sleep
where no one will reach out
to touch me
for now its always here,
in the library

but im going to let
some women close to me.
im going to exchange
some live, unwritten stories.
i imagine they wont see me
as a toy or possession
but that theyll treat me
like a human person

Commitment Phobe

“How did our pissing contest
over who’s more commitment phobic
turn into you wanting to cook for me?
I thought we weren’t going to do this.”

“Do you or do you not like spaghetti?”

“I fucking hate the shit, it’s the bane of my existence,
don’t get me started. First of all, it has no nutritional value whatsoever, secondly, it’s what poor people eat just to fill their stomachs…also, hey, are you listening to me?
The point is, this is a casual thing.”

“Ok, so let’s casually eat something else, then. This Friday. Just relax, let it happen. I’m not inviting you to a terrorist attack. It’s dinner. You can eat it, it’s good for you. What about burritos, do you like them?”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

“Good, so it’s settled.”

“Ok, love you.”

“What?”

“Haha, I got you. You should’ve seen your face.”

“You’re hilarious, do you know that? Now shut up and kiss me.”

“Ugh, not today, I don’t feel like it.”

“Ok.”