i am dreaming of the oxtail soup
and the hot fry of scrapple
and the clattering of yatzee dice
across your kitchen table
so i've rolled a snake eyes
you keep score on the brown bag
sharpen pencil with pen knife
like you have done your whole life
in the middle of the county
and you seem so content
buttering your saltine
the pattern on your juice glass
the hole in your door screen
in the middle of the wire
"have you ever known a lover
besides my grandfather ?
did you ever discover
you can't sleep beside each other
in the middle of the night ?"
and grandma, you're smiling
though you've heard no word i've said
i recognize that smile means
her hearing aid's gone bad
and she's coasting in the silence
cut free from conversation...
grandma looks beneath the table
says, “i see your secret now--
you wear white shoes past labor day,
but i promise i won't tell.
and if you wanna know why men fall asleep after sex,
it's cuz they've thrown off their need.
that's why we women stay awake tossing dice--
cuz we've just been shot through with seed
and it's electrifying !
like fireflies sown into your lining.”
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