The Tenth Year

I looked so beautiful wearing
my first year of being kept.
His shirts stayed so pressed,
all printed with blue panes.
The woman we hired
in the city repeated
motherfucker motherfucker
and had a mouth on her
all the more attractive next
to my prim book-learned tongue.
I admit her skill, though it
made me at the same time sick
being made to moan by one
who was not my own true love
while he looked on.
But that was what he desired.
Each night the wine turned
his teeth gray as my mother’s
eyes, while his own burned
like just-cooled obsidian,
and his face swam above
mine in bed, fanning me
with fumes. Our doom,
our Eden seemed sealed
until I cracked it loose,
destroyed the rhyme. In time
you’ll repent, he promised
in a moment of calm.
But I never did, and left
by the east gate – the angel
crossed his flaming sword
behind me, barring my return –
without a word or qualm.


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