Young Divorcee in Paris
Marilyn Hacker is hitting on me
and I like it.
Oh, Left Bank,
swallow me up, bind my chest,
give me a literary something.
Her hands are experienced and precise,
just look at her sonnets, sweet spiked
jabs at her lover. That lover is gone and here
I am. I'm young enough and suddenly here,
flapper beads and Shakespeare to slap around.
I'm ready. I'll go on strike.
I won't work another day
in my life. Not another day's work
left in me after her. Being her half secret
will take all my energy.
I'll wear everything tight for her.
Try for a tight underfed Parisian ass.
I'll read up on Hugo and denounce him.
I'll sing Piaf only in the bath. I'll smell
so good. Like tonight. We're meeting
her friends. Dinner, surely cream sauce
and enough wine to lead everyone's stocking
feet up the legs of another under the table.
I've painted my toes and pumiced
my calluses. My pants are tight enough
to show the bones in my knees.
I need to be drunk.
I need to be a stone unearthed
and overturned. I'll write Mother,
Grandmother next month.
Everything good. The city is beautiful.
You were right. The love of a woman
for another. Much harder, much faster.
I'm paying my dues. I wash the blood
out of her linen. I need her.
Author Discusses Poems