Bethany Pope: Featured Poet

The Poetry Shed


Naked and crouched on nubbly carpet,
Between Leesha’s rough knees,
I can feel the fabric of her shorts,
Slick, cheap, donated; behind them the couch,
Gummed over from too many bodies.

Leesha is talking, although not to me.
Jerry Springer is on, his early incarnation,
The guest is a fat man, Bacchus like, bearded,
He has married his ass, has
Made a special ring, to close round the hoof.

Leesha’s fingers, horn colored, move through
The raveled skein of my hair, drawing
Out tresses, occasionally humming, prayer-chanting
Down in her throat. The narrow comb moves, parting hairs,
Removing the shells of incipient lice. Six fall to my knee.

My legs are bald, parted before me,
My clothes in a wad, to bleach in the sink.
The refrigerator has a padlock on the door.
The kitchen is locked, closed against light.
I think about monkeys. If I were one,

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