that man who does not worship at the altar of two

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
most likely

like me
who adds pennies
for rent
and saves what’s left
for shoes–red ones

either way
I don’t blame her
because she might not know
there is a me, and booze
is just booze in a bottle
until swallowed

if there are any fingers
to be pointed
they point one way–
to the man who chooses

over and past us, and
his kisses
will always taste
a little stolen

*** inspired by this:

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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26 Responses to that man who does not worship at the altar of two

  1. unfetteredbs says:

    LOVE the changes. Smart girl

  2. 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.

  3. 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

    • 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. 🙂

  4. Susan… THANKS 😀
    I like the way the beginning flows!

  5. Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. nelle says:

    Ain’t that the truth.

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