Idiolexicon: 2/13/2007

Matt Mason

Ode to My Wife’s Panties

Roses on silk, red eye patch,
you mask too tiny to disguise:
I am on the bed, Neruda’s “Every Day
You Play” on the open page between my legs,
this is the poem closing
     “I want
     to do with you what spring does with
                    the cherry trees.”
     And my wife walks through.
Wearing only you
and the baby nursing on her chest.
     Remember, Panties, remember pregnancy?
remember last year
where biology itself was birth control
and I would pull your smooth strings
down her soft skin,
across the kiss of ankle bones
to drop you by the bed,
the couch,
the sink, the car,
the cash register, the beautifully-trimmed lawn at the State Capital,
your touch sweet foreplay,
you bright flag flown
for me
to find comfort in;
     and before that,
remember honeymoon, remember
the drama of arguments
about something we’ve forgotten,
     but I still remember
after, seeing you
like a wink,
like a secret signal
that all is clear,
that this is time
to make up
and to kiss;
     oh, Panties,
I just want to be forgiven,
to forgive that way;
     but she comes to bed
and there are no raised voices,
no slammed doors,
all regrets left
in some other house;
we, new parents,
we just haven’t slept
enough, not last night
or the night before
or last week
or last month
or, or, or;
     I reach quietly
to touch you,
fall asleep,
my palm
against your cheek.

Matt's new book, Things We Don't Know We Don't Know, is available from Backwaters Press.


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