RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – August 19, 2015

Janet Kolstein


She wanted to be
the woman behind the man
and dye her hair green;
then there was the near-rape
in Mexico,
the dash into the street,
better dead, she said, than defiled.

Nothing was taboo.
No word forbidden,
a liquid world of speech
swelling our senses,
dampening arguments and eyes —
waves of recognition,
a bath of accord.

I bought all her illusions —
her flicker in stainless steel.

The expanse of our talks
made our tongues dry,
and we slaked them with coffee,
with wine, with Coke on ice.
We made ourselves laugh
to hear what happy could sound like.

Reputations turned on spit.
Each was the caretaker
of the other’s secrets,
a confidence unbroken,
no names.

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