Norman Dubie

Some woman naked in mist

puts a black stick into a pomegranate

and her king’s brain takes a bruise

in the yellow sleep.

He thinks the sudden freeze

is close to a dog’s posture

while taking a self-conscious shit

in the manger. Birds are

frightened up into the night sky,

the stars reply

with a language of opportunity

unlike the stair-climbing

of lovers who are groaning

in mid-afternoon, the pitcher

of iced tea beside them now

steaming; she’s wiping

up between her legs,

he drags on a black cigarette

and the old woman

of this poem while

hovering near the ceiling

says, children

you could loosen-up in the hips,

you could drink her spit. Oh, just

forget it. You’re hopeless. The lovers

giggle, running under the cold shower

out in the back, in the neglected garden

with sack draped over the rosebank.

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