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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A Pantsuit Bride on her Second Try

“Did he put his hands on you?”
I found that question so confusing
Yes, he put his hands on me
every day. I was his fiancee
I said nothing. They amended
“did he put his hands on you in anger?”
No, I thought, in hatred, maybe,
yes,
i thought, he was enraged…
maybe it was a bad reaction to the cocaine?

“What happened?” Nothing.
I don’t know what happened
he attributed it to stress
One day I came home
and he wasn’t the same man.
I asked them questions. “One day
do you think, I can try again?”
They said, “If you ever have
another wedding-don’t wear white.
Wear some off shade,
a darker cream or maybe beige.”