Saturday Poem

Funny How

Funny how the breeze on my skin does its ruffling thing
with my thoughts. Not quite affectionate. Funny how

staring at the rug I tattoo the floor, thinking if my hair
were thicker maybe I'd like convertibles and other

big wind. Tonight you're away and I'm happy filling the bed
with such teasing itinerant notions, easy to love and let go.

Until the sound: the flat click of the kitchen door
brings metal to my mouth. Something from the driveway

is in the house—looking for what? I have my voice at hand
and the body that wants to use it as a shield, an elephant

behind a sapling. Funny that all I am is lying here,
a sweating piece of meat. Where is the maxim to unlock

my throat, how can I throw the pillar-of-salt I'm made of
over my left shoulder? I'd like a wrap of music please. This

is the time for a small earthquake, an insomniac neighbor—
any old clatter to put intruder fear to flight. But if he's real,

if tonight is marked for crime, please let me wake tomorrow
simply to find a hole where the TV was, chops thrown

from the freezer. Honey come home. Don't leave me here
waiting for some gloved hand holding polaroids of my nakedness.

I'm stuck in a child self under stale cloth, an old dream breathing
down my neck: the man without a face, all skin beneath a gray hat.

I need to know what's on the other side of that door,
the baldest reading of terror, the only way home.

by Ellen Doré Watson
from We Live in Bodies
Alice James Books, 1997