After the Husbands Left the Table

Excuse me, but
for just one brief moment I
saw behind that bright lipstick smile,
fangs, bred for biting
jaws lowered, like a wolf,
hungry to be baptized
in hot, sticky blood.
I thought for just a second there
I saw curved talons
neatly curled under
your filed nails, so
elegantly painted.
So much paint we wear, don't we?
Ruby lips and shadowed eyes,
beige liquid to conceal every blemish.
We can't be seen, we must
"put on our face."
And all that war paint
to get just right.
And on your finger, too, a diamond.
How lovely.
Diamonds are hard, you know.
They use them to cut steel.
Oh, now they've come back.
What is that, honey?
No, I'm fine.
Pardon me.
Just had a little
too much wine.


It’s only at night
When the hours limp by
like broken horses, as they pass
when my mind turns to you again.
My veteran of plastic bracelets
encircling gauzed wrists
Nurse’s stations, too white walls
and empty spaces.
You were a fistful of sand I could not hold.
You blew through my life
Like a sudden storm
Melting with rain
Fierce bursts of thunder
Wild and wind-tossed
and all too brief.
You fell to earth,
a million little deaths.
In the silences between the days
I remember you, my friend
I will never forget you
For you left your fingerprints on my soul.