Heather Igert


        my lover's hands are pendulums, his touch an antique clock articulating the beats of our bodies, our minds. we are tickled
        with fall's cold whisks, seeping, tiptoes on naked secondflesh through shutters he swings me
        from sleep to the tocking, near erica jong's black forest and all those clocks from miles around in sync or off beat.
        dances he near, dances he far i beneath him -- the chasing motion of a smaller hand, a deliberate tide until hours are but moments when moments fade general and chronology dictates
        that time is a mistake.


        they've sunk you in that dunk tank of religion again, hoping hoping it's just a so-called phase, that you'll soon hop that woman-chasin' train to wedville and pop out some blue- eyed intelligentsia. and your brother aims and whoosh, you're down again.
        they want Sears portraits for mantel jewelry. they want copies and copies of their gene pool, the comeuppance of middle american success. they sink you like a witch though. and if you'll capitulate they'll relent and find you ms. perfectblonde with a degree in doting. yes dear no dear sure dear. sex? dinner? this dress? i'll fetch...that's so cute.
        they want you to "keep your options open." perhaps to inhibit yourself to one night a week -- "It's GAY DAY at Wrigley field," and if you're good you can keep the mementos tucked in that locked familiar closet.
        come on son. take it. it's that good ole boy drug. not too much now or you'll kill yourself. we'll help you become...and you'll like it. step on up.
        with those tincan hands they cut you so deep, and when you bled it was all simple, more than pure -- a bump on old mama fascist pride -- a comma to remember who you are when the water's shrunk and their trump's worn thin.


        at nine o'clock the kilgore pub holds its ritual service for the evening flock. and one by one we pile inside, form phalanxes of thirsty souls who relinquish luck's change barely spared from charon, the landlord, and ex-wives. and greedy eyes radarscope for fresher faces and plead their novice rhetoric to bartending juries.
        and i thought i saw you watching me watch you on the night when toothless harry made snow angels on the window glass so passersby might stop to chat. but all they did was point and laugh and inside we prayed to vodkagod and proffered thanks for ice cubes and homes and practiced restraint of wayward arms of inner truth.
        there's a novel or a poem in sunken cheeks and too-weak drinks and seldom-noticed-corner-hogging spiders that seduce tonight's prey in showy webs and seem to dance with table legs after my fourth drink.
        and i dub myself a still-life snow angel, arms outstretched in something's breathy fog -- frozen pale with all sides displayed under frosted showcase glass.
        and until i meet you in unclaimed corners (and replenish womanthreads)
        i go home a lady.

        © 1997 Heather Igert