Sometimes, I’d try to read, or sit through Mass,
Wanting to exorcise her from my head,
And would: a minute or an hour passed
Without the thought of her lain with legs spread.
And, sometimes, we met in a hotel bed
To swarm each other’s bodies, and then sleep,
For all we had to say had now been said,
And in between us boredom slowly seeped.
To break it, she’d storm out, or start to weep
At some new lie, then blubber that she loved me.
It came so easy to her it felt cheap,
And even her orgiastic cries above me
Seemed now the nervous reflex of a body
That had stripped itself of all that wasn’t body.
Just when I thought that I’d been left alone,
No longer accompanied by jealousy
While watching men watch her flash the unknown
On stage, left with cold hours previously
Warmed by her honeyed breasts that came to me
Ripe for the touch from hours of others’ eyes
Stroking them in a barstool fantasy,
My telephone rang. It was some throaty guy’s
Low voice, “I hear you’re single and big-sized.”
The next night, someone called again, again
Asked was I “horny.” At first, my replies
Were to hang up or slur something profane.
But as the nights dripped on, when a call came,
I’d wait to hear some stranger speak my name.
I listened to the callers’ breath, the dark
Out of which shot taunts and solicitations.
One might ask if I’d meet him in a park
To bare my loneliness for his predations,
While others, if it were some aberration—
“You queer?”—that spurred the girls to cast me off.
Drunk, maybe bored, they’d found the same notation
Scrawled on the stale slates of some men’s room trough.
“I’ll just keep talking till I’ve heard enough
To find out where they got my name and number,”
I’d tell myself, then hear a darker laugh,
Not on the phone, but from that hole and hunger
In me that only her live body filled,
But which I, restless, stuffed and tried to still.