“When we shot the cat I knew we were leaving.”
as I said in a poem I never wrote,
and, in fact, I left two days after the night
you flung the damn thing off the bed, careless in ways you hadn’t been since you first came to me
bringing your vanilla stink, the ice cream revulsion that you’d do anything to be rid of
(as murders go, “I wanted to lie
wrapped in wool blankets and watch cartoons all day
undisturbed” makes good sense).
I never put out ads,
never called myself a witch-woman or even
a woman, but word circles
and you weren’t the first to cry over crying
over Sailor Moon or small hands: “I should be
better than this.”
or to grease my diagrammed stomach and shove me into the oven like pork
in the name of disarmament. You would fly into the best passions:
crush bananas on my mouth in yellow-brown muss, unafraid,
urinate with your head thrown back, wrenching out the gospel like a steering wheel hard left.
You would spend my money and lose your money and burn their money and throw the money and come home from the cold with your arms full of books and
blankets and fresh brown eggs and the skin chapping white off your nose, unafraid, you would shave your legs for costume balls but let your beard come dark. You would conduct sirens with your jointed bones symphonies on rooftops before the fire reached you, you would leap into canyons of ivy, beach-bottle green with secret eggplant thighs redblueblack where stem meets leaf and your hair was thick as a marsh with my sweat.
Unafraid, you would get out of this place as easily as replacing a battery, and leap over walls, and weep over dogs, running unafraid, you would kill the man who dared despoil that sugarsnap pea boy, there, with his diamonds and his gold, in his sweatpants and his pumpkin-bread streets, back home after a day. You would testify in God’s court, you would not fear
God’s working love in its steam driven perpetuation, God’s shuddering steel of working love.
Well, I may have helped.
I kept you clean and leant you pens and never asked.
Good night. God bless. Safe home