November 20, 2009


The feminist in me, the one who reads
queer theory and gender analysis for fun,
the person who attends poetry readings
where the words “twat,” “cunt,” “yoni”
and “vagina dentata” get kicked around
like hackey sacks, balks at the fact that
I wish I were there to make you dinner
when you get home from work.
Wish I could watch you clear the
threshold, listen as the door thunks shut
behind you, see you peek your head
into the kitchen, loose tendrils of hair
from your ponytail brushing butterfly
kisses over your chin, catching briefly
on the wooly expanse of your beard.
I would have two mismatched bowls
of chicken soup on the table,
stainless steel spoons waiting anxiously
atop paper napkins folded into perfect
triangles. I would settle myself into
the seat across from you, observe
the slouch of your exhausted shoulders
as you hung your leather jacket in
the hall closet and shuffled over to me,
a barely there smile creasing your face.
I’d swallow warm broth as you prattled
on about the virtues of Linux and
the sins of Microsoft, might even attempt
to coax your teeth out from under
your lips with a silly joke I read in an email
forward, or a story about my hellish
work commute, exaggerated to the point
where sympathy teeters toward amusement.
I’d wash the dishes by hand while you
slipped into a pair of sweatpants and one
of the faded black heavy metal concert
t-shirts that wallpaper your closet, and
when I was done I would slide up next
to you on the couch, fit my head
between your neck and shoulder, and
watch episodes of Red Dwarf until
your breathing grew deep and I heard
you start snoring. In that moment,
I would place my ear over your chest,
listen to the soft gust of air filling your
lungs, the imposing gurgle of your
stomach, the steady beat of your heart;
sounds tended by love, blossoming out
of consistent care. I want to place
my arm across your stomach, feel
the coarse hairs scrape my wrist, and know
beyond the shadow of a marriage license,
a shared lease, joint bank accounts,
or stubborn gender roles, that I am home.

carla criscuolo (New York, NY, 1979)


Jessie Carty said...

that was magnificent! the feminist in me balks at some of the same issues but boy i love to make someone a nice dinner after a long day :)

Don said...


Matthew said...


SaveMeTheWaltz said...

the BEST i've read so far , and i've read many. good. very good.