When he takes the other woman to bed, does he
think of his wife? Her goodness trailing soot, eyes
ringed and fringed in black? She stays up all night,
clips coupons from old letters, unlicks the envelopes.
They are weathered and damp. A waste of postage.
Shoes untie themselves in his absence. Ring thaws.
The press is unkind. She is too gracious or too cruel,
a social-widow whose children study economics.
Where does the cow low, sudden?
A blackbird shell scrapes the sky. Her husband’s bomb-
threat comes true for a moment, a yellow eye in storm.
Newspapers unfurl themselves like chickens hatching
backward. He keeps the other woman warm each night.
His wife hires a plumber and an electrician, builds
two moats. She will do anything out of necessity.
Family dog guards the door early, falls asleep on the job.
Her husband calls three times, hangs up four more.