He’s nothing but trouble, always has been.
You’d think a man might change after
all he’s been through. But no, came and left
—his favorite method—like twenty years
was twenty days. All that excitement over
an olive tree bedpost, then the wanderlust
replaced his other lust. And I’m supposed
to lock myself up, like I hadn’t tried that before.
Who am I supposed to be, the perfect queen
or the perfect wife? The mistress of the house
or the mistress of the town? He told me
about the other women—goddesses, sorceresses,
he couldn’t help himself, it’s all their fault—
but I have to sit here and wait. Let no man enter.
Too dangerous for me, a woman, even one
craftier than her loudmouthed husband
(who can’t help but give himself away
every time) while I outwit the nitwits eating
all the food in the house—like they owned the place.
Maybe he’ll stay gone this time. I’d like
to think in peace for once: maybe meditate
or make a hot yoga room, practice haiku,
unlearn weaving. Build a new bed for myself.
Paula Persoleo is a 2011 graduate of Stony Brook’s MFA program in Southampton, NY. Some of the poets she worked with include Julie Sheehan, Thomas Lux, and Michelle Whittaker. Her recent work has been accepted by Gordon Square Review, Philadelphia Stories, Panoply, Into the Void, Not Very Quiet, and Habitat Magazine. She is an adjunct at the University of Delaware and lives in Delaware with her husband.