rebecca hazelton

I Never Wanted to Be the Missus 


Seventeen, a wish ungranted, caviar bird shit

on a grass blade, cleverly disguised.


You know the rest.  I put on my all-weathers,

ate until my skin split and sloughed, and I flew out


a flimsy cathedral, my windows stained with blush for you. 

Now I light on slumbering stamen, cocked pistils, gathering


pollen to light our bedroom ceiling into a new constellation,

where the planets croon old standards for our attention,


our gracious touch.  In this universe we might rule at least

one world to mutual satisfaction.  I’ll don the crown,


slip my feet into regal bunny slippers. Surprise me, Punch,

Josephine me in your Bonaparte bed.  Riot me all the way home.





I Say, We Will Have No More Marriages…


Don’t feel responsible, but I’ve eaten my way through a calming

pharmocopia, painted my nipples Xanex blue, raised a flag

for you—skull and crossbones and a promise to board.  Avast

silver plate, Spode ecru or bone on bone white.  Let me finger


that delicate teacup rim, balance my biscuit on its lip – if your wife-

to-be doesn’t mind.  I am misunderstood. I would never knife


down the sail of her wedding gown – even to save myself. When I press

the invitation to my ear I can hear the Sea embossed inside,

growling like a big dog in a small body. 


I bear her nothing but a bouquet of parrot feathers, peacock, iridescent

and scented with the exotic lands I’ve traveled – I bring her

the Studebaker factory of South Bend, Indiana,


gap windowed and abandoned –

the indifferent maw of the Whirlpool at Niagara Falls, American side. 


The medieval wonders of Kalamazoo, Michigan.