There are thighs and then there are thighs--
yours put foreign powers on DefCon 5
out of pure jealousy.
Night shift at the factory is enough to melt skulls,
reverse the flow of hearts, turn bones to industrial byproduct
out of sheer boredom.
I loved you wearing jeans and safety goggles,
better than gown and pearls any day.
We took a picnic lunch to the city park,
and set our eyes to floating on the gray waters of the
flammable, compromised river that cuts through it.
"This is fun," we lied,
and fed bread to a one-eyed pigeon
who kept missing with his first peck.
The customs agents had stopped me the time before;
they searched my emphysemic, cookie-cutter piece of shit
right down to the wheel wells.
Holding up my rubber boots, one of them asked,
"Do you work at the plant?"
Well, what do you think, asshole? What do you think?
So you got even with them for me the next time--
you, fluent in Russian, Romanian and doubletalk
pretended not to understand the agent's fractured schoolroom parlance,
and mumbled until he let you through just to be rid of you.
How crazy that you should be Catholic--
I've never seen a craftier shoplifter.
Each time the grid went down, I kissed you for your pilfered candles,
your flashlight, your shitty little radio that kept us informed
as I buried my face in your sweetness like a supplicant.
There are thighs and then there are thighs,
and yours are the finest ever to grace my cracker box apartment
that I had to be on a waiting list for years, to get.
Everything is always in short supply--
once, you backed me through a rope of yellow hazard tape
and right into a defective forklift
with a kiss, on work time.
My shoe soles picked up God knows what from the filthy floor,
but my heart was happy
as the assembly lines rattled behind us.
There is plenty everywhere that can poison a person,
or sow cancer seeds that will explode later on.
We gave that year of our lives to the production of jugs of kitchen cleanser,
Everyone who worked there had red hands and brittle nails,
despite the gloves, despite the icons some of us prayed to.
I was happy,
and even though you left just as it all seemed so good,
that year was pure, flawless, redeeming even,
like love can be sometimes,
and as your thighs definitely were, and still are,
in some other woman's bed
in another town,
where you mumble into her ear in Romanian
and she holds you closer
for all the good such motions ever do.
for Kerry's challenge at Real Toads