Pouring a Steaming Wife
“On my death bed, you’ll tell the Doctor, just make her
a cup of tea.” Having faith in tea is having faith in intuition,
easy to overdo but indisputably an exit strategy of necessity.
The idiosyncrasies of intimate partners endear until they
don’t, by that time two lives are either an alchemy that
for all its pungency has cured loneliness or it’s a recipe
tried and forsaken. Steeping inside an ironstone teapot
with the lid on I have faith that her lips moving plump
and insistent will save me kisses and utterances when tea
turns sharp, boiled life is allotted time, it cools. Night
boiling metal kettle reincarnation we smell like onions
from kissing through tears but cheap tea return sex has
table tea cups out and bathrobes on and late night public
radio interviewing young John Donne who thinks
“nakednesse” explains everything thanks to sunrise’s
busy old fool. Doffed pajamas don’t figure out humility
but moonlight using all the houses windows as nightlights
lays bare the cure for idle desperation which is quiet
desperation cooing and crying for good health to extend
the days of not quite figuring each other out.
Start the Studebaker. Defunct car company metaphors wind their way over poetry with evermore destinations,
Studebaker a demigod elongated out of art deco aesthetics promptly onto Eisenhower's sprawled imagination.
A car to be a domestic thing so praising Studebaker means praising marriage, that chariot of brine and future—
chariot fueled by tears not gasoline, Studebaker household, home, and highway had I a Provincial Wagon
with wood on the sides to repair, and parts, and a wrench that glowed moon beams with each turn love would
burn to the socket. Failing that—house, hearth, and automobile, axle and abundance, the familiar earth
under tire rolling slowly to a stop so to marry, marry the person with all night luminous dashboard eyes,
to the ignition of the marriage bed and automobiles converted from everything to Augustinian chastity.
Lust is the side view mirrors on any marriage, but the odometer compiled figures wide-eyed wonder
from high beams and the years go on, the wheels turn, and while there is no assurance that accelerating
turbo-charges longevity, it might turn over.
Paul Doty is a Reference Librarian at St. Lawrence University. He resides in Canton New York with his wife and youngest daughter. Paul has published before in _Poetry Pacific_, and has also published poems in the _Mississippi Review_, _Cortland Review_, _Shot Glass_, and _The Rootdrinker_.