While the meaning of words can and often does shift over time, there is often an echo of the original meaning that lingers.
The Good Girl sleeps quietly
with other women’s husbands.
Dimples cast in concrete,
she cleaves a breast of white meat;
a potato bursts in the oven.
At first, the word ‘win’ meant merely to struggle.
Homeostasis: maintaining a couch,
a fire, a coffee table behind your ribs,
fine art on your turbulent heart.
At first, ‘attack’ meant to stick a tack into.
The Good Girl has forgiven music
for the pain it has caused her.
Bathing herself in vanilla and almonds,
she gets a job and keeps it,
collecting her pay like rainwater
in clean pools and pockets.
Here are the morning, the noon, and the night,
her silent partners, investors
in waiting, their solar and lunar coins
strung out like a dazzling bracelet
shimmering a dance of lust.
This poem, like the ones in my First Post and Third Post, appeared in Phoebe: A Journal of Literary Arts (Vol. 24, No. 2) and was a finalist for the Grege Grummer Award in Poetry.
THE CHARM BRACELET PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICE
Integrated Functional Responsive Capability
This above all This above all This
Above all Don’t show me that Bass beer I used to
Hate someone named Bass
The ducks were
Chuckling a Beethoven scherzo I tell you
Why isn’t there a verb to describe
The way squirrels move All those
Blowing around campus I was supposed to be
Here an hour
Ago This above all See the ecologists
With their bags of silver bullets What’s
It like having such big hands Since when
Does pleasant weather make you lose Those
Radio collars on bears make me
Ducks were helping each other
No one duck
Had to carry the melody The refundability
Of the bullets was a job bill for the home-
Less This above all Do they look alike or
What happened before Do I need
To do something I began to
Cry about the
Pattern of bricks so the nice man gave me
Pills to kill bacteria This
Above all The
View of calf muscles pleased me I was not
In control All the churches
Need repair like the envelope of my skin
Pardon Me: Is My Hair Pouring Out or Shooting In?
The urban raccoon padded over this cement
Before it hardened That crow
On the bare branches by the river Hang on
Hang on I hugged the bus stop tree Whitey
The carriage horse are you retired yet Was
It like a
Spongy forest floor or something
From a B movie I heard the male klipspringer
Never moves more
Than sixteen and a half feet from its mate
This above all She used to laugh
At people who
Wore watches The breeze lifts
A shoulder feather like a wand The raccoon washes
French fries in a parking lot puddle Fortunately
Many things are none of my business
I don’t want
The raccoon to hear domestic
Violence This above all Whitey get up Which is
Funny nothing or everything The girl had
A beautiful bottom The man had chemicals
The collar lay on a cage of bones
You don’t know
Me well enough to This above all This above
All He had the gall to ask if there was a
Each sport must have its own
Vocabulary I carried a coat with me
All day but I could not put it
On my crescendoing skin I need to know
If this is important
Thank you to everyone who has read my posts.
The Namer and the Named
Breast out. Crawl back.
What would it take to make you happy?
If you connect the dots on my skin
there is a map of Stockholm. The scar
on my knee is in the shape of John Lennon.
My kidneys are twin televisions.
Side out. Side back.
And what do you think would be different
if you changed your name?
I am a Bach sonata. On cold days
I wear plastic bags on my
asparagus feet. Like most people
I take little note of persons in vehicles.
Back out. Back back.
Can you think of a constructive way
to use your anger?
I want to have ruby slippers
and the tongue of a hummingbird.
I want to wail Johnny B. Good
and accept the Nobel prize in sign language.
Flutter out. Butterfly back.
Do you want to tell me
about the voices that you hear?
Inside me is a Magic 8-Ball
that floats haiku in my navel.
The music of the spheres plays
in the hinge of my eyelids.
I am the namer and the named.
Crawl out. Float.
And what are you thinking about now?
There are too many.
There will not be enough.