I go chasing heartache the way
those men in the factory went chasing emphysema:
eight hours in a cloud of brown dust,
and two packs of Marlboros.
Come to my house, connect, connect.
Touch me there, no there.
Let me throw you on the bed, please flip me.
Tell me about your girlfriends.
Tell me about the young virgin
who slept in your bed because you sent her
a nightgown. Tell me
how your car took you to the boat-slip,
where you walked among dangerous men.
Touch me there, no there. It hurts.
Do it again.
Aphrodite went down to the sea.
Astarte waxed and waned.
Even Diana, grand wild huntress, even she
lay down with Endymion in a cave.
I am just a woman, landlocked.
There's nothing here but trees and saltless water.
Man's black ribbon, asphalt, has circumscribed
even Oshun's domain.
I circle a lake full of half-wild birds.
Their shit covers the ground. The sun is setting.
I spent the day sleeping, tired from touching you.
Now I'm at work. The computer sings to me.
Misery sits on my shoulder, whispering
dirty dirty dirty like a mantra.
Misery makes me write.
I turn from the good, clean work.
I turn from it to this, because I know it.
The middle of me is buoyant, wants to float
right out of my rib cage.
I always return to the place that I know.
This is the place I haven't been yet.
-- Frances Donovan