when the fruit dries

i don’t know how it happened
how angela davis turned grey in my model T brain
how my dreams of dark young men
dissolved into tired snow
— it’s the fall of the roman empire in my ovaries
the shriveled skin of war
the rasping of a dry wasp

i’m learning to call this mothball desert home —
the parched horror-movie sex,
the broken bones of my rainforest desire

it’s not so bad
drifting on the rocks outside Saturn
my arthritic thoughts turning to oatmeal
my hands rough as cactus
the ocean of protest become sand

time for the 4pm car bomb;
lay down the kuwaiti wall scraper
& sip the lukewarm barbara bush tea
lay down the ancient pot holder fantasies
& dip your cool brush into sweet powder
shiny coty gold pattern, round
your love subtle
as sitar strings
each drought tune
& proud as nun’s robe
starched for a honeymoon with god

wendy shaffer

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