And She Likes The Way He Says Baby
Ride my cock baby, he says, as he rolls over and pulls her on top.
She likes the way he critiques her writing.
Baby, this is magnificent. Superb. Tour de force, he says.
But baby, I made just a few edits.
She likes the way he scolds her.
Baby, don’t post your poems on that blog.
Baby, I don’t ever want to hear you say you’ve failed again.
What’s a matter with you baby? You’re a star, baby, a star.
Baby, he says, don’t ever say you weren’t good enough.
Your children owe you respect, baby.
They owe you respect.
She likes his thick, Brooklyn accent.
Doll, he says, come sit on me.
She likes when he argues with her about politics.
Baby, I used to be a political reporter, he says.
Baby, you’re like every other idealistic liberal out there.
Come out of the rain, baby.
Step into the light, baby.
Politics aren’t ideal; politics are pragmatic, baby.
You idealistic liberals will ruin the party, baby.
It’ll be your fault come November, doll.
She likes the clucking, soothing tone he takes
when she reports over the phone
that she is sick.
Oh honey, oh sweetie, he says, if I were there,
I’d slip chicken soup down
your hot throat
and bang that bug right out of you.
But he is crazy as a loon.
Stays up late at night,
imagines bugs in his bed,
crawling on his skin.
Sits on his couch, covered with plastic
and listens to the pounding beat of his heart
the raspy draw of his breath.
She calls, from across a thousand miles.
How are you, baby, she asks.
Not so good baby, he says. Not so good.
But what do I have to complain about?
I can always think of you baby. He he he.
From a distance, she remembers that years ago,
his laugh would have made her skin crawl.
And probably would now too, if she bothered to care.
He he he.
Thank god he lives across the country, she thinks.
Thank god they are not banging each other any more.
But she wants him, she wants him.
And once more
picks up the phone
dials his number.
Hey, baby, she says. How are you?