In my dream, the seductress
naked from the waist down,
displays her penis, soft
and gray, curved as a shell.
When she enters me,
I aspire to my own androgyny,
like these three women
sitting in the café near me, at ease
in suspenders, crew cuts, tattoos,
which can’t disguise
the cat-like softness of their eyes.
Flowered dress above my knees, naked legs,
auburn hair sweeping my waist, I’m in love with Bob,
whose lover, Tom, lives upstairs. My flat’s
a railroad tenement, steel door bolted to a metal bar,
junkies camped out in the hall. When Bob fights with Tom,
he moves in with me, plays me Wagner, Tristan und Isolde,
reads his poems, images of sunlight on church steeples,
mornings in a peaceful town; teaches me to cook spaghetti,
whisk a raw egg into it. Sometimes he burns his poems
in the trash. Often drinks cheap red wine by the gallon.
Long nights we stroll the city streets together,
shoulder to shoulder, our strides in synch, unlikely lovers
the year before AIDS crashes in upon us.
Laura Foley is the author of five poetry collections including The Glass Tree (Harbor Mountain Press, 2012), silver winner of Foreword Reviews’ 2012 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award for Poetry. Her collection Joy Street (Headmistress Press, 2014) won the Poetry Award from the Bi Writers Association. Her poems have appeared in journals and magazines including Valparaiso Poetry Review, Inquiring Mind, Pulse Magazine, Poetry Nook, Lavender Review, The Mom Egg Review and in the British Aesthetica Magazine. Her poem “Nine Ways of Looking at Light” won First Prize in the National Outermost Poetry Contest judged by Marge Piercy.
These poems appeared in Joy Street.