For 30 years you muscled onto my calendar

in red ink. And always the week before your arrival

I slept badly, adrift in a lightless fog,

till you showed up and twisted my guts into knots.


Each month you cracked that red whip,

and, baby, I never failed to jump.


So many times I wanted to do myself in

days before you dropped by, but now I guess I’ll outlast you:


the widow’s revenge. And when you’re gone for good,

I’ll clean out my closet, flaunt a white skirt and sip


red wine without spilling. I’ll dream of grenadine,

kisses of saffron and poppy—but never you.



Photo By: Ira Gelb