Inspired by the photograph Nude Sharkfin Swimmers (1973) in Geist 88, in an article about Glenn Lewis (a.k.a. Flakey Rose Hip).
I would love to have a man’s ass, which is less bottom than top, a firm bulb on sprung stems, like garlic, but only a couple of cloves. Men have the best butts, I think, studying a photo of nude men (in a literary magazine, ahem), as my soft bottom yields beneath me where I lie in bed, anxious again, realizing that these days I’m afraid of the moon. And once I was in love with the moon, knew it personally, it was mine and kept being mine, over and over, punctuating the sky whether I was drunk or reading a poem so brilliant I’d have to look up from the page as out a window. I suppose I discovered at some murky point that everyone loved the moon, everyone was embroiled in the same affair. Wisdom is frequently humiliating. But I’ve learned to translate humiliation into maturity, which assures me now that everyone fears the moon! I reach for my magazine again, adjust my glasses, which are cheap, Made in China, assembled on the unseen side of the world, probably worse for my eyes than good, but does it matter? I imagine going blind and the picture sucks: no, I’d rather not go down that hole that will never be dug. Once an employer said, as I squinted over the contract, when you’re regularized you’ll get great eyeglasses. That was years ago and I remain term faculty. The term term sticks in my throat, no longer a glowing, ripening season but a chip of something stony. Terminal, termite, termagant. If my bottom weren’t so soft, maybe things would be different. I would have upwardness, lift, less gravitass. A sigh sounds through the house, small bellows wheezing at a fire. It seeps from one of my children asleep in his or her bed. Oh, wealth. My wide, ample stores of love kindle for my offspring, who fill my days with the unknown labours of the single mother, and all the joys of motherhood. I remove my bad glasses, extinguish the lamp, put my head to my softish pillow and bravely glance at the moon, that constant bulb– perhaps I could win back its hard love, after all.