by Robert Carr
Prop The Camera
I’ve often wished that, thirty
years ago, my man and I had taped
us making love. I should have had
the foresight, found a lucite
stand to prop the camera, placed it
on the bedside table. Not that I want
to sit at the foot of our king
-sized bed, wanking off alone.
Sex. Is not what it’s about. I think
I’d search his filmed eyes. In that
thick molasses, I might find proof –
love bite fading from his neck,
twenty-nine bowls of white
tulips on a table, how much
he’s always loved me, soft
nipple of our son’s aqua binkie.
Not that I need it. Proof.
I know he loves me. But things
are in fast forward. The down
duvet, a paisley that he bought
me as a Valentine. The ice bucket
of champagne that sweat through
stained sheets. We have our wills.
If we had a tape I’d write it in:
At the funeral, set up a wide screen. Dim
the lights in St. Eulalia, Stephen’s family
church. Tell guests to kneel, hold a hymnal
between elbows, lean into the pew.
True Love is a Mad Step
Sometimes I am Phil, and sometimes
Doug. Fractured window, her room
the scent of hospital and peony.
She grins and pulls bruised petals.
Today she has no stepson, (in her clouded
eye, I have not been born). She cups
my stubbled chin with parchment skin,
pulls back the sheet to flash some sexy.
Bedsore and plain vein. “Darling,
you look beautiful!” As she bends
the brass hands of her watch, we converse –
gardenia buried beneath a stone,
initials carved into old apple wood.
Scabbed over. Each time I walk
into the room, she greets another lover.
Some I knew about, some I did not.
Sundial light pours through windows
of her white chamber. She meets me
for the first time, on the hour.
Interchangeable rays catch dust
like floaters in vitreous, milkweed pods
shaken by beloved hands.