In The Red

and she is due her due
after washing the bile from her baby’s mouth

after bandaging the burns and
burnishing the bruises
she is due her due

the toilet paper streams the wrong way
but she doesn’t know the right way

and so she pulls it all off the spin, a swift scarf-magician
more and more flowing
as she issues it across the trampy yard

to create a tide break
an ocean of pallid pearl tissue

and she is due her due
the toothpaste is squeezed from the middle
and the cap is removed once more

and she runs down the street streaking
stripping down to nothing

can’t you see her in all her plainness
she is due her due
but it does not come in the weeping ginger daylight

it does not come in the arctic bitter midnight
she wakes at four a.m. to conceive

boiled eggs again and again, twelve minutes then, yes
she is not only the vinegary mother
not only the sheer wife, and

no one notices her clamping her hands
in a fixed fist prayer, cupping and crushing

the finger bones
no one notices her due
no one sees her wetness, her wishes

she is praying and praying for the voices to
stop, and the voices to come

and take her to her due
and she is planning her escape by train
by aristocratic gentleman, or a slick jump from the car

door, there would be the sweet smell of butter
milk weed, and the tire’s cry on the tar street
and the blue and red blur in her eyes

and then, there would be her due
and then, there would be her due

by LisaAnn LoBasso

Other poems of LOBASSO (2)

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