22 December 2009

Rachel Zucker

[from Rachel Zucker's Museum of Accidents,Wave Books, 2009]

Sunday Morning [excerpt]

Last night I woke up sweating and begged you
to open the open window and threw my damp
nightclothes to the floor none of which woke you.
Now the bedroom is crisp and I'm almost too big
to be on my back like this reading. Thinking you'll
touch me. Would you care to? Thirteen years later
a soft body under the sheets in a cold room
isn't a recipe for anything necessarily. The boys
are all set up with TV, my book's a decoy, and
a few weeks ago you said you liked
my hair. Can a woman this pregnant be shy?

Light shines in through the windows around
the taped-up shade samples. Maybe I should iChat you:
sex? That worked once. Or phone-to-phone
page you or text you: my dragon tattoo
wont last thru another shower.
What if you
wanted to lick it? What if you wanted to bite
my inner thigh? What if you wanted to take the book
from my hands and rip it down the spine?

Your study is three rooms away but I know you can hear
the Spanish music pumping from the car stopped
at the light, eleven floors down. What if sound
condenses as it rises to meet us? What if you wanted
to bend me over the bed, belly be damned,
and that desire, three rooms away, was a sharpened
arrow by the time it reached me?

Our son is whistling Suzuki Violin Book Volume One
just outside the bedroom door, which is my punishment
for teaching him to whistle. I hear the toilet flush and wonder
if our younger one will wash with soap and water. What if
you saw me right now and said, If you move I'll kill you,
you're so beautiful
—? What if my darkened nipples
intrigued you? I just read "touch the door like it's
someone's wife" in the book I'm reading,
which you didn't write. One of the samples snaps
against the window on his Scotch-taped hinge. You're
in the kitchen putting something ceramic on the stone-topped
counter. What if you wanted to drag me into our walk-in closet?
What if you wanted to press me up against the front door?
What if you wanted to disturb my sleep? Why didn't you eat
your orange slices?
you ask the boys, while unpacking Friday's lunch.

Then all three handsets in the bedroom ring at once,
you come in to answer, see me reading, hold out the phone—
I'm sleeping, I say, hoping you get my meaning. You
don't. Instead return with the boys' leftover breakfast
and eat it lying next to me. I read you the poem about
touching the door. Isn't it good? I ask. I've got a bad feeling
you're going to want one of the pots in the dishwasher
in the next twenty minutes but they're just not available,
you say.

I can almost see you through the open bathroom door,
through the polka-dotted shower curtain, but mostly
I see your bent elbow when you raise your hand to wash
your hair. When I touch myself the baby quite politely
goes to sleep. Then I'm a belly but no one inside me.
What if you didn't want me to put clothes on? What if
you wanted to sleep with my breast in your hand? What if
you liked poetry? What if you said, There's a closet
in the basement near the laundry room—meet me
there. . . .

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