Saturday, September 10, 2005

Soothing the New Mothers
I come door to door
my hair shellacked into blonde wings
selling life insurance and
they return to their lazee-boys, their rocking
chairs, their blue barco-loungers and sigh
their eyes are huge, all pupil, but they see
nothing, their hair a shock of smoke
floating in all directions
their dresses stained,
their bellies puffed, straining against
zippers, buttons
they bleed, still, through their pantyhose
and the line of red trickles down into their
they each wear a butter white cloth
over their right shoulders, for the burping, the tiny
pukes, the endless streams of drool,
the fabric has a peculiar scent,
like urine and dirt and something
they haven't slept in weeks, they have the expression
of cows after the first shock of a hammer
to the forehead, before the light completely
leaves the brain
I offer them a pocketfull of chocolate, then flash
my shiny red high heels, speak of bars tangy with smoke,
low riding jeans, tattoos to the lower back
and men, lots of men, lining up, crowding the floor
to speak to them, the young mothers, men of every shape
and color, all of them beautiful and yearning
the mothers are lonely, I know this, and when
they start to weep with longing I am ready
I gather a handful of their pliable fingers
and lift them from their chairs
wipe their tears and drool
and I close the door, close it softly
behind us, so as not to wake
the baby

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