Too Many Men, Each One Leaving
This one likes me best when I sit astride
him, legs bent so knees push
either side of his hips. I keep my eyes
closed mostly but don’t mind that he watches
my body, the grace of each easy collision.
I like to think of twinkling lights,
snow with no steps on it. I like to think
of Mary, chosen by God. Some say
He came to her room and entered her body
like a man, with His celestial penis
and holy seed. I would be Mary riding
the bumpy mule to Bethlehem, swollen,
crying out as the beast lurches over loose stones.
I would that God visited my sleep, lifted
my shame. But I wake alone, twisted in white
sheets, my mornings littered with sin
and confusion. I lean, Mary, like a sapling
in rain, like you. They ask, and I bend
to tenderness, even passion. I lie down,
delicate and rooted as grass. But each one finishes,
as God cast His one, pure shadow over you
and was done. A small heater whispers
through the soil and clutter of my room.
Its warmth rises, rises—and is gone.
“Too Many Men, Each One Leaving” first appeared in River Styx.