“There is no love interest in these modern wars.”
Gertrude Stein, Wars I Have Seen
When he deflates, horribly flat, with sticky crinkling
noises, I peel his body from other parts of his body,
probe with my pinkie, squeeze with index and thumb,
put my mouth to his valve-hole, breathe him fat again.
I punch. He hisses. He’s mine, and I sock him. He flops
backward, jerks upright, ballasted by sand in his sack-
bottom, filled with my breathed air.
I punch and I punch him. I dance on my toes like a boxer,
lean to let him hit me in the face with his facenot hard.
He crumples about the ears, tapping me.
I swim in my make-believe anger. His sifty sand shifts
when I shove my hands under him. Like Susie the color
guard carrying her flag I rest him against my pelvis.
Shove him out to tumble on his dumb head.
He rights himself the instant he hits. I dive at him, we
fall together, roll, I lie full on the floor, load his weight
on my belly.
Did you hear the wind last night punch our pear tree,
beat and bend it till it thrashed its blossoms in white suds
at the window, at the emptiness in the other direction?
Marriage, inventory, what? You? America? Hello?
Daisy Fried is the author of three books of poems, the latest of which is Women's Poetry: Poems and Advice.