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There’s a Step-Ladder Near Your Bible
They Say You’re Far-Sighted When Alone

by Mercy Bona

you only pour half
the remaining wine,
saving the rest
in case you get company

this is repeated later,
and you know you
will never be without wine

I can live with your thimbles
of wine in the medicine cabinet
it’s your hair that disturbs me

no matter what you say I know
your hair hates me

when we hug
your locks
inch around
my neck
and shake hands in a death grip

and I fear you conspire against our love:

when I go to kiss you,
you call my name so loudly
that all the neighbors can hear
and just as we get into bed
the phone rings

I have so much in common
with those fish you keep in the bathtub
getting the bare minimum

you say you would leave me
if it were not for the children
yet you refuse to introduce us


Mercy Bona resideds in Brooklyn. (Spring 1975)

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