Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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The Peace

That fall, while anchored gunships
sulked like whale-bloats in the harbor shoals,
we married and rented half a duplex
from a tax attorney. The other half,
untenanted, stayed locked.
For months the county jail
across the highway shone with rain
and runny headlights. In March we woke
to sirens: an inmate had escaped
and the authorities were blaring—wails
drizzling at our window like a law.

It almost felt illegal, rising naked,
streetlight barred across the linens
when I turned the blinds. In bed again,
I drew my hand along her hip bone,
told her she was slender as a shiv
as she rolled to me. Anything but,
she said. Sleet clicked over the glass
like fingernails and the alarms continued.
Echoes bred with echoes in the hollow
rooms behind us. I kissed her neck.
I said, I love your anything-butt.
This, while the wind somehow
amplified the sirens, wrapped them
like police tape round the house.
Cheek against my chest, she whispered,
You’re such a man, baby.—Don’t ever,
I told her, don’t ever call me a man-baby.
Playing, I drew back as if I’d hit her,
and then—hard enough to shock us—
on her innocent mouth, I did.  end  

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