Photo Credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Renaissance Tapestries

Your second wife

is not too smart
and I could cut her down
with few well aimed subpoenas,
but you tell me
you like lying
next to someone
who doesn't make the sounds
of arteries hardening.

She is destined
to sleep with my terms:
mother of three
whiny children
fidgeting as she waits
on line in the superette
shuffling coupons
to make ends meet
on a budget,
on your salary,
on her allowance

'cause you'll pay me
damages forever
and ever,
a reminder
for the nights
you forgot we were married.

She's got that
-she can change that man o' hers-
straight from some song
she heard on the radio.
You are what she wants

and it will be different,
you tell me,
this time,
from what you've gotten used to.
defined as younger,
much younger,
than me.

Janet Bernichon

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