The Expectations We Bring

The Expectations We Bring

You will cradle the small of my back, draw

my tongue, my flesh, to your mouth, bring

me to the edge of death, of life, each night.

Laughing, we’ll prepare roasted peppers,

transparent layers for spanakopita,

swordfish coated green with pesto,

and talk while our children play.

I will massage your long-muscled

back, read you to sleep, soothe you

when nightmares or fevers come.

You will always love me; we will say

each other’s name as prayer

and the answer to prayer;

I will listen to your every word,

even those unspoken.

But what of nights when my skin grows

cold, your muscles plaited, our names

catching in clenched throats?

Thank you to the editors of MPC Anthology VI for first publishing this poem.




When first approached, their

tails gently thump thump thump

yet I have watched these hounds

shred deer to bone licked

clean by ferocious tongues.

Sleeping, they seem no more

than lanky pups, glittering

canines concealed, but virile musk

urges them awake, famished,

no longer kenneled in dreams.

Thank you to the editors of California Quarterly for first publishing “Hounds.”

CA Quaterly