By Jennifer Clarvoe
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Consign the rest to the plow. This day is just this day—so clear your desk, you fool! It’s not too late for whispers, for hurried arrangements in the not-yet night— 37 listen to that laugh, the laugh that gives away something she’s thinking in the dark under the covers where she turns and twists the telephone cord around one pretty wrist. 38 After Words We do not tire entire. Sad in the middle Of sadness’s inadequacy, we fiddle And burn out, softly. Life in fear of life Makes matter matter less, and less of strife And breathing softly.
3 All’s Fair All’s fair; I think I’ll let you go—too small to keep. And I don’t care whether you call me back or not. Perhaps I’ve aimed too low (below the belt); I think I’ll let you go. You wouldn’t last a minute as my slave, would you? (Oh, you don’t know what you have to lose. ) Love has nothing to do with it. I take what I want and lie about it later and blame you, sweetheart. Oh, I take the cake and let them eat it, too—and that’s the matter, isn’t it? Eat and be eaten. Who survives I might at last consent to keep as slave.
And it’s all in the way you’re twisted. As in, for balms I mistyped blams, then blames, then Alabamans. In the south (don’t say “down there”) they took away my need to know, they took away every little thing that was too sharp, my tiny nail scissors, but they held onto their guns. The southern city was the same walled city everywhere, the same wild city everywhere. Some things can be willed, and some things can’t. The dream that split us into three since there was too much hurt for two—its slip-knot, triangle, delta, meaning change, now scratch the record—how in that dream I wanted the tiny scissors to cut him out in little stars—my eyes, I couldn’t find 42 where she had put the scissors, in his back?