Everything Seems Possible

Before the meal arrives, before the second glass of wine. Two husbands
doting on two wives, and their single woman friend: kisses
on the cheek, Platonic forms, tales of men in taverns, cavernous
and cool, plotting as the pig’s head, stuffed, deliciously dead, wanders
by on someone’s serving palm. The talk turns, as it will, to Shakespeare—
fucking bless you, Shakespeare, your possibilities, ability
to disappear, how you can take a girl, alone, perched in her room, maiden-
head intact, and turn her words to some stone fountain, far away, whose burbles
flit and play until the fountain builds a mansion of a love we’re walking
into, see the shining halls and doors, but now the girl becomes the house, look!—
her hair is braided inlay on the floors, that fountain in the foyer pours
her words out like the server, come to top my water glass. You thought
I didn’t know what I was on about, but it’s right there, hazy, but visible
through the window’s wooden cross: safety. Men without their cocks.
Over supper, over drinks, alone with pens in hands, generating, salivating,
civilized, and I, the blessed broad who laps it up, gets to hear it all, fearless,

(Later, she will be some black muse, and mutable, a bottom-loving earl,
a wench, essential background piece on which to lay one’s hat upon entry—
to be the skeleton’s key and the lock, the eavesdropper, to rid the door
of the wolf for good—)

in love with her table of five sweet friends, its litter of drinks and silver, candles
flickering on the beloved faces, low talk, low laughs, and a dry, cool evening
waiting for you all— oh, they might have murdered Marlowe on a night like this…

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About evanduyne

I'm assistant professor of writing at Stockton University, where I'm also affiliated faculty in the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program. I work on Sylvia Plath, contingent faculty, and creative writing around trauma and domestic violence.
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