The Way She Figured He Figured It

You get over these constant storms and learn to be married all over again, every day.
—Barry Hannah

The foyer is hers because the kettle is hers as it was made for water and the water is hers
         because the sac that grew the baby was hers though the semen that made the sac was his
                                    like his boots are his and the tea that’s of the kettle
after it enters his mouth is his unless it’s hers since it’s inside the kitchen that’s hers
and therefore not his unless he’s simmering the Asian sauces that are his
                  because they’re dense and knotty rather than milkish and paltry
                                    like everything else from the nation state of the motherland
of the no-mercy child who won’t stop sucking and wanting and whining in the ear that is his
although the child herself belongs somehow to the woman and thus its hunger is hers
                  as is the bed and dresser and mirror and latch
                                    though the hammer naturally is his and the saw and lumber
and back and muscle he suffered to build because he guessed he thought it would be
good for something besides this house like a pestilence of people who weren’t his
                  because nothing was his except the whirl he carried in his belly of the mix-up
                                    of loving her in the first place like being sucked
into a burrow of lava embers and putting your tongue to it until it caught fire
and all he could say was that the burn was his—this hole in the mouth—
                  this fiasco of the woman bent now in the garden to smell the cilantro
                                    as though she didn’t know his head was split
with hating her and loving her and hating her and loving her
because she was an ache and a kink and somehow the furrow—the groove and the rut—
                  and age and death and kiss and fuck and not-fuck and song and not-song
                                    and no it was not sweet though he’d go on and carry it
                                                      since also—since mostly—it was.

Adrian Blevins, "The Way She Figured He Figured It" from American Poetry Review. Copyright © 2007 by Adrian Blevins.  Reprinted by permission of the author.
Source: The American Poetry Review (Adrian Blevins, 2007)
More Poems by Adrian Blevins