Yellows cast their spells: the evening primrose
shudders unclosed, sells itself to the sphinx
moth's length of tongue. Again a lackluster
husband doesn't show. A little missus
eases the burnt suffering of a cat-
fish supper, undresses, slowly lowers
into a lukewarm tub. In her honeymoon
nightgown she rolls her own from the blue
can of Bugler, her lust a lamp the wick
of which is dipped in sloe gin. Hands
wander to her hangdog breasts, jaded Friday night
underpants, hackneyed nylon in heat.
Now his black taxidermy outstares her, the stern
heads of squirrel and deer. Now the house confesses,
discloses her like a rumor, vague and misquoted.
From the porch, from the glider she spies rose-
pink twilight flyers—sphinx moths drinking
the calyx, the corolla, the stamen
dry. The stuttering wings, the spread petals
suggest an interlingual breathing, a beating
back of all false tongues. She thinks of the chaw
lodged in his lip when he talks or her husband's
middle finger in the snuffbox and rubbed
along his gum. She walks, wanting him, into the latter-
math, into the primrose, the parched field itching
with critters. She walks, wanting and unwanting
him while birds miss curfew into the thick of the thigh-
high grass, craven and dangerous, in the heavy red.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: The New Young American Poets:An Anthology. Contributors: Kevin Prufer - Editor. Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press. Place of publication: Carbondale, IL. Publication year: 2000. Page number: 154.
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