In a city, police watched videotapes of more than 50 women filmed by a Peeping Tom with a night camera

Left nipple west, right east
A towel turban
a renegade curl
Creme squeezed from a tube
Toes pop through an afghan's weave
A Snoopy mug
in her hand her chin
A telephone hurled at the wall
A stalled army of curlers
Pillows pressed between thighs
Eyes glued to O Pioneers
A steaming iron, a flowered skirt
back and forth a round upper arm
In a lap's flat circle a sleeping cat
Milk dripping from a swollen breast
A bowl of popcorn in tv light
A dance, maybe reggae maybe blues
The shower door shivers ajar
Her entry is covered in moss

She is a she a her
a sits at a desk shirt off bra dangling
a cutout a silhouette
an outline on a madras spread
She is an empty Jim Beam pint on the floor
a bloodied tampon, string
stuck to the cotton flesh
a razor skidding down a leg
a tweezer weeding a brow
a stick of red fenced in by lips
a pair of black-frame glasses
She is a single bangle on a wrist
a dark mole in the crux of a back
a palmful of water, a string of floss
a sister mother girlfriend daughter
a flickering eyelid in a tossed-about sleep

This one's nights are lit by tv
This one's hair is matted with sleep
This one is one half of two
This one is always alone
This one dissolves in the sheets
This one sleeps with a dog
This one sleeps eyes open
This one at midnight paces the floor
This one at dawn gropes for her breast
Tonight is this one's first night alone
This one smokes but never drinks
This one rouses in the mirror
This one rouses in the tub
This one bleaches the roots of her hair
This is the one who will scream

Published in Sojourner, A Woman's Forum

Back to Selected poems