At the bottom of the blue river
(What I meant to write was head of the river)
is a rich red vein.
So easily the tube can be cut,
the water purpled.
But then all the fish would flee for other tributaries,
searching this river over and over for blue water.
Blue light is not chasing
Shades of slate and gun metal pursue me
in a way the other women wrapped in their profiles and friends
would understand more than they want to believe.
Our spirits dream while we say,
How much? That’s too much.
I have to have her there by 3.
We need to get away. It is never just us.
In the suburbs I drive over hillock after hillock
again and again,
for bread and milk,
my fingers searching beneath my skirt for something so dirty it is clean,
so corrupt as to be pure.
Quarrelsome boas cannot decide who will
take my inner drive
and so it is passed back and forth like a dish rag.
I once did the dishes all the time but hid from the stove.
Now the stove, dusters, sewing needles all hide from me.
I remind my back to stop bleeding.
It is enough the knife slowly turns.
Don’t advertise it.
In that house we gave nothing of ourselves,
because we admitted to nothing.
I am a fish still alive in the pot.
I hope the hag cooks with good wine.
I refuse to breathe the water,
absorb the wine
I am a woman for whom jetted tubs were made.
I step out of the vat
not even naked
with all the shame heaped on me,
and I strangle each snake for laughs.
Here is my drive
on the floor tired and pitiful.
But here is me.
deciding drive is not enough…
and I have more