I don’t even know how you got published.
Of all writers in the world, you’re the worst.
Your voice—please—guzzle a bottle of lye
like Lindsay and forever quench your thirst.
Go stuff your head in the oven like Plath.
(What if your mom never taught you to cook?)
You could fire a twelve-gauge Boss like Papa,
and splatter your brains all over your books.
You could sit in your car reading Sexton
until your Intrepid runs out of gas
or cirrhosis your liver like Thomas
and stumble to readings drunk off your ass.
You’ve already reserved Room 32
for the giggling girl on the second row;
if only she’d bring a bottle of pills,
lace your drink, and not let Room Service know.
You could jump from a bridge like Berryman.
Are you gephyrophobic? Scared of heights?
A cabbie might see you and call the cops…
Damn. No one can plan a party on mights.
No, you’d want the press to have a body
to splash your photo in tomorrow’s news.
Sure, razors pain you and acids stain you—
is there a means you’d be willing to use?
Fuck it. You really want to be famous,
so there’s more harm in your turning up dead.
Forget the fancy demise—you’d like that!
I pray you die of old age in your bed.
I don’t like the President
telling me what I can or cannot do.
But apparently that’s his thing,
he’s got a pen
and he’s not afraid to use it.
But I’m afraid
of saying what he should do
with that pen because then
I’d have the Secret Service
knocking on the door
and the IRS auditing me
and knowing men the way I do
they’d all come at dinner time
when I’m trying to get food and kids to table
and they’d want receipts and explanations
and they’d probably say their mom’s meatloaf tastes better
and I’d have to tell them to wait until long division, baths, and bedtime
and then I’d be all theirs.
In this sanctuary, Woman regains her glory.
She is Eve before the Fall, goddess of all
that is good and right, healer of old wounds, weaver
of magic who casts spells to call forth seed.
The woman takes whatever she’s given
and makes it pretty, she makes all things pretty,
she is the Maker of Pretty. She takes the man’s dust
and salt and turns them into song.
She sets his skin in gold, studs his bones
with diamonds until he shines. Her power dazzles,
quiets the devils shrieking in his ear. This is grace
made flesh. Watch the woman offer the fruit
of her vine; watch the man drink himself
toward drowning. The woman whispers,
This is my body, broken for you.
The man takes and eats and will not remember.