I’ve never smelled perfume
on his collar that’s not mine
or tasted another’s kiss
skimmed over his lips–
still, men in my life
have had mistresses–
that slut work
that bitch scotch
that whore crack
easier to name a Nancy
because I can meet eyes,
learn voice, paste
the face on a woman
who adds pennies
and saves what’s left
for shoes–red ones
I don’t blame her
because she might not know
there is a me, and booze
is just booze in a bottle
if there are any fingers
to be pointed
they point one way–
to the man who chooses
over and past us, and
will always taste
a little stolen
*** inspired by this:
Had to, what Celestine wrote today was dynamite with a long fuse. Have to say I enjoyed this one.
LOVE the changes. Smart girl
Susan, this is really something…I think the thing I like most is that there is no air of contempt for the woman in these matters…she is you and I. Women can be so cruel to one another and all any of us want is to be loved…now if only more men would stand up and own the love…I am one of the lucky few…
Me too, Jennifer. I have been blessed. But I have never understood the women who attack or blame the “other” woman. The other woman more likely than now does not know we exist.
Oh Susan, this is magnificent. Really I do agree that women are our own enemies but me thinks that is too simple a way of looking at the issues. Poetic license aside, fidelity in marriage is admirable and exemplary but we all know that things can get complicated and it becomes difficult to disentangle or even apportion blame.
Indeed, I admire faithful husbands, but in Ghana now, the trend is that more likely the other woman knows of the existence of the wife. What the say is that they are not after the ring. They are after the man, The wife has the ring she should keep it. Very mercenary
Thanks a mil for the link my dear friend
my pleasure! Thanking you back for the same 😉
Celestine–I won’t argue about what’s going on in Ghana with you–I know there is a cultural difference. What an awful thing. I have not been “cheated on,” by losing a man to another woman. I have lost one to drugs. That is a mistress I just cannot compete with. But, I think I would be more angry with the one who broke his vow to me rather than the one in the triangle who has had little or nothing to do with me, and might not have known I existed. Perhaps my thinking is misplaced, as I have not been through losing a man to a mistress, other than the one he could buy and put in his pocket.
You are right, cultural difference is a factor. And for me this factor accounts for lots of marriages here just existing, you know what I mean, No life, just a day to day existence. On the other hand if i have to be charitable, I will say that Ghanaian wives are very forgiving. 🙂
I could learn a thing or three about forgiveness…
Susan… THANKS 😀
I like the way the beginning flows!
No–I believe I am the one who should be saying thanks…you rock!
This is one of your best. It really is. I would love to see this in a magazine somewhere (or a book). It really deserves to be.
Forgive me if this sounds presumptuous, but this is your special poetic voice speaking right here. This piece really captures your special voice and gift.
Jeremy, thank you. I really appreciate you saying that!
Well, I mean it.
I know, and I appreciate it–I will say more to you elsewhere 😉
Hmmmmmm! Relationships, guilt, fidelity, trust, knowing, suspecting, scenting, intuition, playing along – hmmmm! which way? the jury is out and there is no telling when they will come return; and among the jury, lonely hearts exist, each in search of internal peace and external balance in a world where eros rages riotous and the righteous recede?
Great poem, Susan. Forget the comments of mine above.
Ah, this was written in response to Celestine’s excellent poem, where she castigated the “other woman.” We are, all of us, subject to eros in all its exquisite madness, no?
and I can hear the “other woman” say, “hell is the other woman”
Wow. Interesting insight, as always, N. The “other woman” is always the woman that is not us.
Btw, still thinking why the poet chose the word “Altar” Altar suggests spirituality and a plane beyond the physical – liberating and entangling, simplifying and complexifying at the same time!
The poet is a quixotic fiend, mingling the legalistic with the spiritual, the sacred with the stolen.
Ain’t that the truth.
Yes, sadly so.