And do you think that
Living in such an ugly house,
Can prosper long? ¨- Edna St Vincent
The ring of red on the coaster dries
I taste your robust Shiraz
so your blood can break my bread.
My lips leave a mark on your glass.
I flatter the guests,
fret about the salt in the stew,
Husband will not look at me.
He knows, he knows itís you.
Across the table, you touch my
circle the length of my smile
from the centre to the corners.
fingering every grove.
I want to reach for you
above the shaken salt,
press your palm into mine
but no, this is not the time.
The wine sours in my mouth
when reach for your coat.
Soon, you will leave me by the door,
stroking your kiss and wanting more.
He creeps into my bedroom
when the night is most alive.
Unafraid, he feels for the walls
that will bring him to my door.
It has been four years since I spat him
from a lip in my womb.
Yet every night, he crawls back in.
The first light pries through the
He kisses sleep from my eyes
and pinches my lips to seize my first
he wants them for himself.
I breathe in the smell of milk
that has never left his forehead.
God, if I could birth this boy again,
I watch him at breakfast.
His face is crushed like an eggshell.
For him, food is slow, fist-under-chin
Mother, let this plate pass over me, he
Then he attacks the sweet jar.
Heís a boy soldier.
His face is ever smeared
with chocolate paint.
I watch him from my window.
Bent over like a rainbow,
he scours the garden for things
his fingers are drawn to.
He seeks me bearing gifts:
hollow beetles, strange stones,
I push them back into his metallic
At night, he pulls me down
on my knees and moistens my lips
Good Night, Mother, he says
and walks away
My insides flap about like a wet
Come morning, come soon.