Thought Experiment

Suppose two women are trying to lose weight. The woman is a drug. 
She is not healthy unless she conforms. They both have access  
to the same appetite suppressants. They weigh their meat.  
They let the woman at acupuncture massage their midsections. 
They belong to the same gym, drink the same type of smoothie 
and have a predilection for the trainer in tattoos. One's lover 
believes her body is perfect in what he says, but he subtly 
undermines her by fondling the dress she wore when they met. 
He yearns for décollatage. Her younger scent surfeits from the garment. 
The other also has a dress that squints at the armpit, and pants 
that squint and at certain times of the month and shoes that pinch. 
She believes the one who loses the weight will have the baby. 
Both binge. But, one sits alone in a downtown piano bar 
with beer nuts and imagines her hair is a deterrent in affairs. 
She relies on vague dating in the ladies' room where women 
can exchange casual glances in the mirror and borrow lip gloss. 
The baby stops being important for one. Which one will have the baby? 
It is reasonable to assume the one with the wild instinct 
cannot undo her yen. If they both lose weight, how can they explain. 
Will the thrill that comes seep into other life or will there be new  
considerations that drain joy and impede growth? Neither woman 
will let it go. They have both molted. But, they remain the same 
in one regard: the body is a moon for other sources of power. 
Not the man she chose, or the woman with whom she waits for a taxi 
in the rain. Other commodities like Self come back to her 
in the longing she abides for a changed system.  

***

Stuttering


The skin lets out its bawl that no one knows me but me.
We make a pact to know the light between us is clapped out
and when. When our skin skitters. And I am so close
to knowing why you do things better than you know.
So close to bearing the weight of your thoughts as my own.
But I stutter. And you say something unintelligible
like anything you say has a purple meaning. You barely
let your name out. This is when I call myself
and your cries are next to me but your cry is after my cry
and our cries hyphenate. Farther away, echo.
Blind rage is behind me and coming strongly through me
to meet your wonder as I trouble to speak.
You say your name. I think I can hear your dream.
In that dream of death what sleep may come. It is already
too late to pretend that it is not too late to go.
The lamp is at the edge of the desk now and you work there.
I am reading a book with my eyes closed and can almost make
something out. Your body flips open in a bookstore
with the new collections crackling with hope
in your hand. My body is the simplest detector of your willingness.
There is nothing to ruin between us. But the stuttering. It is an accident
that I was made this way and you that. What if I were the woman.
Now that I am the woman, what if I were the one who came to you.
I think in your head my own paltry beginnings. You say your name
and I say my short lines as well as I can remember them.
Repeating the same role in them I play until I catch
in the same spot. Starting over has its pleasure
but its dependence on failure. You say you’re a thought
in me now that could be like a white flag. It flashes.

as seen in Belleville Park Pages