The Bed, from Christmas at the RamadaDawn Potter
It lurks round every Ramada corner,
this bed, single-minded as Sparta.
Once the door chunks shut behind them,
once they inspect all the drawers and snigger
at the Oriental-ish art screwed
to the beige wallpaper, once they suck down
a quick roach at the icy casement,
time runs out for everything but the bed
and K and O—the gravitational pull
of this motel mattress, Charlemagne-
sized, its flowered coverlet severe;
a bed royally firm yet dim as a cave
in the shadow of the light fixtures.
Sex is the heart of the matter:
and perhaps, thinks O,
there is something vital in ugliness,
this reduction to famine,
we two thrown together like phantom
Barbarellas, and all the while the ice machine
crashes in the hall, handyman snowmen
whirr and clack, the fat guys in the lounge
switch to Friars hockey and whiskey sours,
and a tow truck finally drags a smashed-up
Chevy from the parking lot.
In the distance, a siren.
K leans back against the somber headboard,
silken and shy, open-eyed.
What magic to be awaited by a man
whose every rib she must have kissed
at least once in the half-life
they’ve dreamed away.
Though this bed demands a new,
a starker obeisance—
This stripped-down polyester
battlement, this outcast star—
No shepherd awake to guard his ewe lamb.
[forthcoming in How the Crimes Happened (CavanKerry Press, 2010)]
Sunday, January 10, 2010
So far, so good with A Winter's Tale. I'm very excited to imagine so many of my friends holed up with this play in their various cupboards and burrows.
One commenter did mention that, for some reason, the blog would only let him post as Anonymous, though he didn't necessarily want to be invisible. I have no idea why this might be so; but if you are having posting problems, let me know and I'll post for you.
Today is my husband Tom's 45th birthday. It is, as it always is on January 10, extremely cold, but at least this year the electricity is working. Making birthday dinner without power can be challenging, although the snowpile outside the door does, in a pinch, work as an ice-cream freezer.
Dinner tonight: artichokes with lemon dressing; fried tiny goat chops breaded with parmesan; potatoes, garlic, and parsley; green salad with cucumbers and shiitake mushrooms, pinot noir, chocolate cake, cognac.