Terese Svoboda


Glass of Water Encounter

She dances only in her necklace,
scotch-lit surely. He touches his glasses.

Nightie-less, dugs whipping, hair sprung,
some music inside, out, wet tongue

tip at her lip, no mere palsied shuffle,
both bony feet lifted, elbows awful.

Shakespeare’ s banshee of wailing parts,
a woman with hair, a woman with warts.

He’ s fixed to the floor. Dear Heloise:
do other presumed-sane mothers do this —

wait in the dark after the ball
to strip for their sons at the end of the hall?

Hairy Stream

You could hike over it, the you
without a problem, its mountain
viewed from the closet
coats are found in, your constant
Yes/No a hee-haw, a mule alert
that’ s pasture-perfect,

a coronary at the last corner.
Nobody’ s framing you for the chintz-
covered wall to cover the leak.
Besides, you like leaks, you’ re inside
the view as if hibernating
or crazy, you try not to erupt.

Hypothesize the rest,
the languor and freshet,
the crags, the serrated parade.

Thanatos Machine

You don’ t need a machine to do that.
A plastic bag will do. But he built it,
his tools cast about in the unit
while he got up his nerve to use it.

Nothing more was stored there.
A poured cement floor, a triple-locked door
after door after door down a corridor
reeking with the odor of everything over.

In heretofore phrases, he left a note
outlining his Help! in argot
so wrought it was hopeless to ferret out
his intent, meant or not.