I glimpsed him leaving Trader Joe’s,
loading his disposable brown bag of stuff
into his wax-buffed Jag. My ex—
his face dehydrated now,
in the way of those old-timey apple-face dolls.
This was the guy
to whom I cried as we did it— Take me
any way you want me. So loud an exaltation
that it carried for acres —
into the neighborhood chapel,
where it shivered the sainted windows.
All the way into abandoned apartments,
awakening tweakers with their smoky pipes.
Into the fragrance of espresso bars
serving absinthe and squirts of whiskey syrup,
the pierced baristas pausing
as they plunged the steamer rod
into the teased-up milk.
That’s how it is when you’re a woman
in your prime. You vocalize.
Especially after all the years I spent
with a man who walked out
the bedroom door while I waited
in bra and panties, posing to show
the curve of my waist, the peach
lace of my Victoria’s Secret—
my jars of vulva balm going rancid
on the bedside table.
After my great plague of nothing, the first
to uncork the fine champagne
of my lust. There he was again,
his blotched arms heaving
Friskies cat food
onto the smooth leather of his backseat.