February 20, 2007

The Other Woman’s Poem

I found another woman’s poem under the pillow
on your side of the bed. Your taste in literature
appears to be improving, but I analyzed
her craft, found schemes in her motif.
The meter moving my stanzas, active with
your verbs, takes its rest in the everyday
language of your arms. Her lines are contrived
to simulate excitement, drawing on shades
of forbidden form.
                                 Yet after a few readings
you’ll crumple it in boredom, discard it
like so many others before. Philologaster,
I realize that no wife can keep you
from burrowing your wormy way through
other women’s verse, but don’t naively hide
the folded facts under your pillow:
remember who changes the sheets.

—Maxianne Berger
from How We Negotiate (Empyreal Press: 1999)

Posted by dwaber at February 20, 2007 01:21 PM