Nina Corwin

Serial (parts 1 & 2)

Pickering, why can’t a woman be more like a man?
—Henry Higgins, My Fair Lady

In love, I find your right leg
In my Levi’s, my left
In your Lee’s. We are a three-legged race
At an Independence Day Barbecue.
This never goes well.
I start over with somebody new.
Each craving the taste
Of the other. He is lean corned beef.
I am thick Jewish rye.
Life is our delicatessen.
We eat ourselves sick.
Hours later. One of us
Gets a taste for Italian. The other’s
In the mood for Thai.
We wake, sheets still
Bearing the creases. Each learning
To walk alone. Again.
Another chapter. Merrily,
Merrily, merrily, merrily.
I dream a double helix.
He: two tops spinning side-by-side.
With man, the problem is monolith.
With woman, the problem is
Bottomless trough.
You Stonehenge! I spit.
You Marianas Trench! He snarls.
He sticks my tongue out.
Says “Everything
Bounces off me and sticks to you
Beyond Babel: Bricks, bats,
Cats, dogs. Which one
Of us uttered such things?
We wake with our own
Words in our own mouths. Echoes
Inundate the room.
Serial (part 2, how it falls out)
We start over.
With somebody new. Each craving:
The taste of the other. Or should I say
Each craving the taste of each
Other. Respectively.
We wake. Sheets still
Bearing the creases.
It’s about which side
The crease falls on. Which side you.
It’s about the line
Break. The creases
Still borne. We turn
And we turn. Our own words
In our own mouths. The taste
Either sullen or sultry.
The trouble with woman is she
Isn’t more. Like a man. The trouble
With man is
He isn’t. More like
A woman. A problem
In parallel.
Corn beef and rye.
Thick and thin. Entrenched
And towering. The trouble is there
Are always creases.
The trouble is (increasing
encroachment) the line breaks.
It’s a matter of a pause.
A space. A dot in space.
Period. Alone
Each learns to walk. Again.
And then again. Each learns
To walk alone.

Nina Corwin
“Serial (part 1)” first appeared in After Hours, Summer 2010, issues 20/21. “Serial (part 2, how it falls out)” first appeared in BlazeVOX 2k9.