A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
Be polite, he says, we’re drinking the stuff we can still buy on credit, can buy because the business, the business, the business, him at the head of it leaning, driving the SUV around from unpaying client to the next, me sitting there glowing in his heated seat. It’s me who does the talking, he says, reminding me about who it is who wins the business, who charms golf clubs off the arms of the agency presidents.
Room full of glasses
I’ve got a mighty little thirst, he says. So be polite and pour me some, pour us some, let’s sit on the roof, you and me, watch the petrified wood process this neighbourhood down to rock. I’ll do the liberating for both of us, doll, he says.
Queen of Queens
You with an ancient crown, goddess of bedsheets, he says when things are good, and the man isn’t lying about this, I had a role to play and played it, anima rising and sinking and rising again with a bit of spit. He’d toss a Kleenex like a basketball from the bed to the bin, “basket”! he’d say, giving me five, proud of his semen, how it coated and wet the inside walls of the trash bin. Mighty proud because it’s death because it’s birth because it’s smelling up our bedroom like freshly made bread.
A heart like Mary
You don’t own me, I tell myself in the countless mirrors, you’re just a childhood Santa Claus. This I say to myself in the mirrors because they lie to me but they’re my very best friends. Tell me I’m always going to be able to live with these lies.
Uprising in me
I’m coughing into my hands, dying into my hands, coughing like a pretty little suburban pigeon woman because his anima is rising and he’s finally weakening, he’s caring too much for a lady when it all falls apart. Sleeping with a neighbour who loves God as much as money and he’s not talking about his sorrow with me anymore but he’s talking about how goddamned happy he feels every day that our men have landed on the moon. Still talking about that? I say. Be polite, he says, don’t interrupt.
He with the keys to all the locks, he who has been managing the accounts, tells me that the winds of change will kill me if I’m not careful. Come sit on my lap, he says.
He won’t tell me that he’d do it all again. He drinks and I float through the living room. Since I was seventeen I had no one over me, I remind him, leaning into him, into the solidity of him, this is what I’ve learned to say, oh yeah? He says. Be polite. Today I’m leaving on the 1:15. I don’t tell him, I say it to myself inside the ancient temple of a rising body.
Meg Pokrass’s many books include The Dog Seated Next to Me (Pelekenesis, 2019)
Copyright 2020 Meg Pokrass