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ISSUE:  Winter 2006

Far off rivers bore My Lady Love; she has no ear
for my Irrawaddy narrative, my Annapurna memoir,
or those Okavango Transvaal whiskey sunsets,
not for harquebus, nor blunderbuss, nor swivelbore,
not even harum-scarum anecdotes from ye good ship
my fraternity house, my salad days of yore. And when

I tell her I am master of all meat, weaned
on chocolate milk, pork long past its prime,
and beat my wooly chest, she scoffs and bids
me sit to watch her watch homemaking on the tube.

And though I pain her with my biplane dreams
of Steadmans, goggles, silk and lamb’s wool,
still, when I leave her a tiger lily or pale yellow
rose in a beer bottle on her flagstone mantel, any
small curio, a monogrammed pocket knife, carton
of Chesterfields, then God save me from her heat—

in her basement the four poster’s a madman’s laboratory,
under the canopy her aquiline nose just arch enough for
villainy, and her broad swimmer’s back a place for whispering,
my short, hot breath haunting the edges of pillowtalk.


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