Once Upon a Mattress 5


If I could take all of you into consideration,
my habit, black boots black and ill-advised
I’d turn this shanty town into a Nation
of slippery fire. I admit I was surprised
to find you waiting, alarm clock set to boom
before the sun even, before town criers
stamped their feet, proclaimed the night your groom.
I tried to flee – I did – I’m a terrible liar
while you loosed bones with just the tips of fingers.
My lovely girl, I married you that night
I married my ideal child self, what lingered
near your highways, old oil and stage fright.

You raged like fruit, cored and ate me red –
and left me wonderfully bruised
still, I thought I had to burn your bed
lest you discover me there, hungry, used
to leaning, making odes in lieu of promises.
Those other loves – half moons, booze – demanded proof
in pigments for my doubting Thomases.
So you pocketed the stars and stuck them to my roof
said I could have you, you who dropped like anchors on my lips,
while outside, sinister snow spun fortunes from our hips.


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