A Journal of Formal & Metrical Verse

On the Erotics of Deployment

I’ll build an altar
to the tiny flecks fallen from his razor,

the pair of coveralls crumpled near the bed,
the history of war he left unread.

The Goddess of Impermanence
will be evicted from my home. In Her absence,

I will exhibit art
composed of my vestigial parts,

my breasts the centerpiece
to this display. I will be all of Greece

and Italy. I will forget about my skin
and the awful need for friction,

how often I’m an empty plate.
Or else, I won’t forget but only tolerate

neglect. Some wives prefer
to wait along the pier, green glitter

on their eyes, their bodies wrapped in scarlet.
I’ll try to be the harlot

that I want to be,
Bathsheba gleaming on the balcony,

Susannah combing tangles from her hair.
I will prepare

myself for him, a feast, a holy sacrifice.
I’ll be the fruit kept edible on ice.

Previously published by the Women's Review of Books. Excerpted from Stateside, Northwestern University Press, 2010

Jehanne Dubrow, Featured Poet