From the archive, a poem originally published in THE GRAHAM HOUSE REVIEW in Spring 1988.
My Father Said That’s the Devil’s Work
What I passed the Underwood Devilled Ham factory
on our street, he pointed his pitchfork at me.
Satan’s fingers grazed my heels as I stormed
up the cellar stairs, his steamy breath behind.
He was down the bathtub drain ready to wrap
his weedy arms around my legs. I wedged the plug
into the gateway to Hell. He crouched at the foot
of my bed, and I slept pressed into the headboard
away from his flickering tongue. He whispered
swear words into my ear while I dreamed.
Years later, I finally met him in Paris.
He smoked Greek cigarettes called Santé.
In a hotel room in the Marais, he pulled me
to the floor. We kept the shutters closed all week.
August 21, 2013