1991 • page 5

Home Poetry 1991 • page 5

June 12

“Remember the time,” I said
“I was going to come to your apartment,
knock on your door and shoot myself
as you opened it and said, ‘Anni!’?”
“You really loved me,” he said,
“You adored me.”

“Yes,” I said, “I don’t understand it.”
“Maybe they put something in your food in Morocco.”
“Yes! I’ve thought of that.
I’ve thought of that!
You must tell them,
when you go back this time
to undo their curse.”

“No,” he said.
“You have to find another witch,
a stronger witch
to remove the curse.”

 

June 15

He always falls asleep first.
His heavy breathing, light snoring.
I lay close, my head turned toward him
discouraged and angry.
I felt a warmth on my cheek,
a slow warmth I recognized
drooling, always drooling.
I lifted my head to wipe my mouth,
found that I was lying on his hand.
He too had felt the heat
and wasn’t yet asleep.
He might have looked at me in the darkness.
As I lifted my head, my eyes closed,
he moved his hand.

June 17

Tonight thunder explodes
like bombs in the distance
and the dog barks at the door
growls and yaps.

There is the devil lurking outside
and he wants to come in
to this household on the brink.

So much on the line
a sick husband with tuberculose cough
a possibly pregnant girl
a young student waiting for results
after two years of grueling work
and a phone call from Florence—
will she meet up to travel or not?

The devil wants to come in.
He’s lurking outdoors
and who will keep vigil
in this fragile sleepy household?
Who will stay up with lit candles?
There is only a yapping puppy.

June 20

He gave me 200 francs.
I took it with little protest
and smiled happily.
For a short moment
I didn’t know what to do with it—
I could have laid it on the desk
I could have put it in my wallet.
Instead I stuffed it in my pants
as if that was where I kept my money
crumpled in my front pocket
like a little kid.

June 29   Airplane Ticket Ennuis

You need to make a list,
she said,
of the pros and cons,
what’s good and
what’s bad.

Once on a bus
a sleepless, bumpy night ride
both of us with clenched fists
droning headaches
tired and more tired,
he told me to lie down
to put my head on his lap
and sleep.

He was worried for me.
The crazy bus driver
on swerving roads
looming over cliffs.
Said he would save my life,
die for me even.

It’s true
and I still love him
though my head is blank
in shock at the events
that followed.