Give me steel, savage jaw, sunken glissando of the tongue on teeth. Stranger, divine a sunrise tattooed on the arms of Mr. Tuesday Night,
from molar to bicuspid. The taste of night- caps lingers in a ring around my tongue, glissando of taste buds on tonsils. Shall you or I divine
the path to the elevator, the key to your room: Divine Jacuzzi Suite #4, where I’ll listen to your night- music, finger technique down your lumbar keyboard, glissando. In the night, you’ll divine the ripple of empty sheets, glissando – the sun rises.
To a Young Wife
after Vincent Zompa
My quiet friend the wife says the last two years were medicated.
If seamed down the center the wife would compact itself. An old stump peeling back her toes. She would clamp her rooted feet and say each leg of the hose is trouble, even the fur, the domesticated pearl. Her sisters in scissors would sink into her saunter. She would say pearl brings perspective. A series of teeth. And all her smiles would clash clash clash. A premonition blowing through the dress.
For years, the riot side of me slept, dry-drunk against the vow. I collapsed into a child when I woke, what riot side of me stays riot. They said, “her accidental heirlooms – they scattered on the shoulder.” Prematernal, I ran out of the dress shop, never the same.
Rippling, a skirt fell from a boy’s teeth and shattered.
Her hands were compassion, her lipstick a murder. Or perhaps it was the other way; she came obedient from the rib. And way back in the dress, the firstwives speak in my head:
“Youngwife, we see you dawning in the dark water. Letting the pearls roll by.
Your other earring was found half-digested in the trash
In your time you were a ripper through the seams. Overboard from before the first shore split from the swell.
We saw you pouring in the park. And we know who split the swell.”
Every story from the new begins with “When I wasn’t wife …” When we are new what will they cut from our womb? My own womb? The mussel becomes less and less a neck, more and more a cavity.
I will hide these things in pearl and we should remain bedded.
Necessity roosts on a rib in the youngwife. Caresses in the night are teeth. Hooked in from the youngwife, how we females feel belonging to things. From where she speaks, the icebox, to where the firstwives spin her to – what alters when I follow her spine, those clear strings of broken little eye-teeth, we’ll pearl to find our way new.
-- Elizabeth Weber spends her days reading science fiction on public transit, cataloging the untold wonders of the internet, and perfecting her urban pedestrian scowl. She recently earned an MA in Writing & Publishing from DePaul University and also holds a BA in Radio/TV Broadcasting and English from Lewis University. Her poetry was recently featured in Threshold, Prick of the Spindle, and Arsenic Lobster.