Author's Note: Firestone had suggested the optional theme of Women/Men for December and January. So, I'm trying again. Here are two poems about some favorite women--my wife and my therapist. It's been suggested that my therapist would have a field day with these. However, if she wants to know about my poetry, I'm not telling her. Like you, she'll have to go to alanwalowitz.com to find out.
My wife says fuck in the middle of the night.
This is not an invitation;
we have been married many years.
She gets hot flashes
and throws the covers off.
I can’t get it up—
and she can’t sleep without water.
Now she’s spilled the water on the bed.
The cat is meowing outside the door
and wants to be let in
then who knows what she’ll want.
It is the middle of the night.
Nothing is wrong.
Something is always wrong.
She is talking in her sleep,
but looking right at me.
She is cursing all the years
she’s reached for me,
spilled water instead.
I am up, but pretend to be asleep.
This is serious.
This is our life—and now I’m sure
there is no God.
If there were a God,
it would be morning soon.
originally appeared in Leannan
Though it’s not my way, I phoned to say I’m late.
Then I pull in haggard, out of breath,
and she uses her well-honed skill of indirection
to suggest I might take another look
at things I might not truly intend—my repressed hostility,
a certain passive aggressive tendency,
that desire to disengage, and with it
my failure to truly commit.
I tell her how truly sorry I am, and by it, I mean
she couldn’t possibly comprehend the traffic this hour,
how hard it is to leave the house
and not worry the wife and kids,
and my conspicuous need to mull any action,
whether complex or mundane,
while sitting in the driveway nursing a beer.
I could try the truth, but what if she just won’t hear?
Here I can be sullen or silent, even doze if I want.
She just rustles the insurance forms
that sound like crickets the hour before dawn.
I open my eyes to meet her earnest nod that says
she’s working hard to think well of me
but is afraid our time is up.
I am truly, truly in love —
with the forgiving hours she’s willing to keep,
that sigh as I reach for the door,
and her wan smile when I mumble —
and truly mean it this time, —
this time, I’m not coming back,
and her sweet, sweet voice that so truly replies,
Yes, but could you please try to be on time?
-originally appeared in True More or Less, Truth Serum Press
© 2018 Alan Walowitz
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