In the Next Booth at the Diner

She said, “Remember when you liked me
more than crack?” and he said, “It’s only
cause I hadn’t met crack yet,” and when
she huffed and tried to leave the booth
he grabbed her arm, and pulled her back
and said, “We have to talk about the dog,
remember?” and she said “I thought
we were talking about the dog,” and he said,
“We have to finish talking about the dog,”
and she said, “So fucking finish talking
about the dog,” and he said, “So stop being
a giant cunt and I will,” at which point,
in a single sweeping movement of her arm
she knocked every single thing off the table,
and the cups and plates broke against
the floor, and the coffee flew up and stained
my pants, and the silverware clattered, and
we weren’t overhearing anymore, we were
paying rapt attention, and he said, “You’re paying
for that you, you bitch,” and she said,
“Pick up the tab yourself, asshole,” and not one
single person tried to stop her as she left.

* * *


It may not be the best idea
to let your husband tell your father
all the things that you don’t
forgive him for. After all, your
husband may get a few details wrong,
and your father may not remember
certain things he did to you,
although it seems unlikely
that someone could forget pinning
you down by pressing his knees
to your shoulders and spitting
in your face, even if it only happened
once, on your tenth birthday.

* * *

In the Style of the Master

When he had FINISHED
his project of remaking

there was no gap
between FEAR and GUILT.

The goal was to PLEASE the GOD
who might turn his face

from me;— and then;—
I turned my face from HIM.

I turned my face from HIM,
and here;— here;—

among the betrayers
I live out my days