The Private Place Where You Live With Me Part Time

You are at the sidelines of my poetry
only because you take your place
as the centerpiece on my kitchen table
in the form of a bouquet of roses
we bought for International Women’s Day

the red crowns so dark they are almost morose
and born of thorns leveled out
by the innocence of baby’s breath
when you went off to work, I sat by them
thinking back to my Victorian lessons
both of these clusters representing
if I recall, everlasting love and marriage

and I ran my fingers and thumbs
across the petals, fingering them
right off their stems until they fluttered
down to the table raining white and red
before I knew it, I had made a mess

then I gathered the discarded petals
the red and white settling into a path
to my bedroom and the shape of a heart on my bed
to stage the appearance that all I had done
while you were gone is wait and pine for your return

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Happiness is

Scratchy paws and a soft belly

Forever scrambing to get nearer to me

Careful that each part of his body

Legs, tail, chin, belly

Is atop some part of mine

I breathe out

He breathes in

Our air becomes recyclable

My hands are buried deep inside his fur

Until my lover approaches

Flips him on his back

And tickles him:

Scaroocharoocharooch ah!

Scaroocharoocharooch ah!

He sings

Bejeweled Italian Man

“How much more of a
bejeweled Italian man
do you want me to be?”
I cover him with
diamonds, rubies,
necklaces, rings.
I tell him I want
him just how he is
but he deserves
more lavishness
I like my men
decorated
I give him
one more kiss
before he leaves

none of my other
lovers have ever
kissed the soles
of my feet-
I want him
to have everything
he could ever need