House of Stone

Your plot wrought
with removal, you strip
down the holy
with soulless measures,
measured in cheap changes
less assessed
than the weight of gold,
objects objectified,
lawless laws,
you claim just cause
to shield your flaws.
Our bodies were built
for the erotic,
ripe fire of sorrow and light,
limbs carved by lust,
by loss, by life.

From these blessed depths,
your soul
erupted like a sting,
wrath of vacuous uncertainty,
you reduce this sacred
house of embers
to cold stone,
stone cold, alone
you build a house of sticks
to hold us in,
your broken words
and vicious gaze,
eyes, violent
in their vacant haze,
you are lazy,
crazy,
for we have known love,
our bodies were made for it,
the way we move
or don’t move,
an act of freedom,
and do you feel
the passing brush of liberation
while you sit
with your broken mirrors
in a crowded room
and build your wall
from the granite
she gave you?

My children know the word grope,
make jokes
about men who use
their daughters
who are mothers.
We are mothers
and daughters,
and we expect more
from our fathers,
red tie nooses your head
to your heart like a balloon,
it might float away.
May your discord
be our kindling.

No bully words
will ever carve
like this heart.
Our house is made of marble,
lit by our lips
and our service,
all things beating now.
Wings rise like a tide,
you’ll be tattered
in the gale we make,
you shake,
somewhere deep inside
you watch the stone,
though you may not know it,
as freedom cracks
the limestone coffin.
This drumbeat comes from the earth,
your words, slippery fish,
will swim away like shadows,
away like cold hands
on an electric body,
feverish
with a passion
you tried to wet
like a wick,
now the bright candle
in a dark room,
ignited.

Laboratory of the Feminine

I make my bed different
when I know a visitor
will be calling,

launder these white
sheets to a soft crispness,
pull them from the dryer

before they have wrinkled,
and hang them on the line.
I wash different

when I know
I will be touched.
I lather. I smooth.

I oil.
I pat dry.
I rifle

through drawers
for the skimpiest
and the most

forgiving.
I make extra trips
to the closet. I search

between the hangers
for what might suit
my belly

and my back,
my hip flesh
and the season.

I take my time.
I know
what you like.

I pay attention
to your eyes,
the hitch

in your breath
when I brush by.
I embellish

your pleasures
with my nakedness
refined.

A ritual
of a lifetime.
I watched

and I read,
I guessed, I gleaned,
I studied and I tested

in my laboratory
of the feminine.
I carefully examined

the data. I see
what you see
before you do

on an endless loop
of sensual efforting
and physical feedback.

And when you lay me down
on these pillows
sprayed with jasmine,

I am your independent
variable and you
are my hypothesis.

I enter your senses,
like you enter me,
searching for

sum totals
for all that is whole
and all that is broken.