I glum in the dim.
Home on my own.
Night-rain on the roof.
You’re later. I fume
and feed my sulk’s fire
with little broken sticks
of your thoughtlessness.
Hours go on
and my unanswered texts
get less brusque, more hysteric.
I get littler in this big bed.
My sulk goes out
and all I’ve got
is the drip and plop of my heart
like the rain on the glass –
heart like a dolorous frog
out in the mud.
Fat glob of meat singing a croak,
calling its love
or calling some big-beaked fate
to spear it out.
One of these nights it’ll happen –
one of us dead.
Come home, drunkard.
Pleased with yourself
till tomorrow’s bad head.
Come home safe.
Come home love.
Summer-long, you made yourself useful.
You snaffled huge unbearable bluebottles
and thinned out the drizzle of fruit flies.
But now it’s autumn. We discuss you.
Cooking steam diamantes your web.
You’ve grown fat, orange as the harvest moon.
You swell and turn in your window-corner,
like a light blinking amber. You augur.
We discuss you. Are you pregnant?
Sometimes I’m the one arguing to throw you out.
Or I want to prod your booby-trapped abdomen,
trigger a flour-bomb detonation
of spiderlings, a slattern’s dust-cloud, bang-on
the moment I pull a roast from the oven
for the in-laws and their blessed children.
Sometimes what I want is to be eaten alive
by a snood of your babies, to have my airways blocked
by my own damn life-choices.
Ramona Herdman’s latest pamphlet, A warm and snouting thing, was published by The Emma Press in September 2019. Her previous pamphlet, Bottle (HappenStance Press), was a PBS Pamphlet Choice. Twitter @RamonaHerdman