Carrying Water  
    C. J. Sage

In bed last night, I studied
the face of my lover and wondered
what the words would say
about gypsy eyes, paper cup lips;
I read their ridges with my fingertips,
memorized each fan and fold,
spilled water everywhere.

As I work this morning, he sleeps
spread out on the sofa nearby
and my ear is a flask for every sigh.

Say You Love Your Husband  

    C. J. Sage

Say you love your husband

but you want better sex -- sex
where you're soused, where you're topped
off full with long thick breaths that lift the body's
work, not the short sharp breaths that come
when running all out of it (heat I mean).
Sometimes you think you're going insane --
you know you're not, but you think too much
repetition has damaged your brain, at least
the parts that master connections and firings,
or maybe not the brain exactly but the heart,
the part which tells your brain to make your body
do the easy terrible things -- like losing interest
is somehow going to make him turn around
and grab you, hips in hands, and give you
what he doesn't understand you need; maybe
blinded, he doesn't even know about it
while you're mounted there like Lady Godiva
but trying to levy your own duties, collecting
secrets, hiding them like stolen gold
behind the eyes in bags caused by lack of sleep
caused by visions of things you're too afraid to
name but want to do nevertheless; those apparitions
are like a room full of horny men closing
and opening your shutters in a weird reverse
Morse code that says to you: say you love
your husband, say you want it, want it all.

C. J. Sage’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in many magazines as diverse as Threepenny Review and Samsara Quarterly. She has received Phelan Literary Award in early 2000 and is a Managing Editor of Disquieting Muses Magazine


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