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Carol Berg

The Wife's Mid-Life Crisis Sticks ________ Down The Wife's Throat

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Her restless finger. The boulder between us.
His lips and her limbs lined up perfectly together.

I stick her relentless fan down her throat. Her clock
with its rocking possibilities. I stick her

refusals down her throat. Her trickery, like a forgotten
basement. I squeeze her pillow down her throat. Her gripping

sheets. I stick her consternation her lack of concentration her
combat and her grammar nation down her throat. I stick

her bed full of dreams. I stick her stare
down her throat. His empty chair. I stick a rogue

island down her throat. A pastor. Skinny jeans
and the blue waiting down her throat. I stick the routine

of ache. Her practiced smile. I stick a green leash down.
I stick a bartender and I stick the only exit out down her throat.

The Wife's Mid-Life Crisis Leads the Wife to the Sea

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We play let's drive the United States of America
with some of the states missing.

We play the boy-next-door peeking through
our bedroom window.

We play chemo treatment. We play scared.

We play push the blue button. We play former
landlord. We play let's remove Maine.

We play the pawn shop with his bicycle, his wallet, his dream.
We play fire station alarm. We play questions in the dark.

We play what's that called. We play the Swedish
version. We play alone. We play what does that consume.

We play our mouth is a diamond cutting our skin.
We play hide the persimmons. Hide the neighbor's dog.

We play the waves run fast. Now faster.

We play who doesn't exist here.

The Wife's Mid-Life Crisis Forgets To Tell The Wife

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About Michigan about Chicago about the town named
Hardscrabble. Forgets to tell her about the tattoo

of Ophelia on her inside thigh about the kill shelter
in Alabama. Forgets to tell her about Friday's

thin symbolism. Forgets to tell her about the arch
of his crowded silence. Forgets to tell her her dreams of white-

throated nuthatches spiraling down her throat. Forgets
to tell her what was gurgling in the heartbreaking stream.

Forgets to tell her what she expected after all. Forgets to
tell her what to watch, his hands his feet or his eyes.

Forgets to tell her the brine of oysters like metal in the mouth.
Forgets to tell her which Tuesday will be for flower stands,

for sorrow, for vacancy. Forgets to tell her to put wine and
mahi mahi in her lie and forgets to tell her about the airport.

Forgets to tell her emotional breakdown. Forgets to tell her always
a pleasant scene.

The Wife's Mid-Life Crisis Feeds The Wife

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I feed her garlic scapes scotch bonnet peppers thorns I feed
her durian wild nutmeg ilium feed her gambier

I feed her abundance and wonder I feed her with mine
own two hands unleavened pain brimfuls of abominations

I force saguaros in her mouth spill brown-spotted bananas
stuff barred owl feathers in her mouth I feed her

rosemary mint catnip spoonfuls of withdrawing arms sipfuls
of water beetles I feed her judgment slivers of timber

I feed her stubble I feed her bribes I feed her cordite basalt
pumice quartz feed her stone stone stone feed her beak

feed her bone feed her lintel doorknob shingle
exasperating reasons needling toothpicks I feed her desire

I feed her with a white plate with a silver fork with a wide bleached
white napkin I feed her standing over her and over her whimpering lap

The Wife's Mid-Life Crisis Lays Down With The Wife In An Otherwise Empty Bed

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in this bed we lay fixed we lay folded we lay forgotten
we lay snarl we lay unsaid

in this bed we lay floating bloating we lay rigor mortis
we lay punishments we lay gargoyle we lay curdle and hand fed

in this bed we lay encroaching we lay fog we lay lament
we lay cantilever we lay entrapment we lay cantaloupe's rind

in this bed we lay search we lay compass we lay beset we lay bend
in this bed we lay reign we lay rain O Lord we lay night's name

in this bed we lay wood we lay tongue we lay buttermilk we lay rice
we lay grip we lay fork we lay grid we lay low tide

in this bed we lay fuss we lay disassemble we lay soldier
in this bed we lay leather we lay troop we lay refrain we lay reframe

in this bed we lay weak we lay family we lay home we lay jiggle
in this bed we lay all that is possible between us

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