[From L'heure bleue, or The Judy Poems]

October 29, 2015

To avoid Jack when he's sad—
what he indulgently calls "the blues"—
I say, You're catastrophizing again,

a word I learned from his therapist.
It's part of the new cruelty.

Jack quote-unquotes Emerson:
Truth is shrill as a fife. I'm sure
Emerson hated women.

I'm unsure of the verb:
Have I wifed Jack
or is Jack wifing me?

I revive an old shirt
that shows off my clavicle.
Vanity is my last vanity,

and I reserve the right
to wear lipstick in the house
and smear it on the cups.

Here everything is admissible,
my silence as weaponry,
my too much perfume.