Lynne Knight

The Night and Its Wilds

Ten years ago, I’d have been in bed
with him by now, the hell with his politics,
the hell with his grammar. He loved nature,
that would have been enough, and, as he said,
he especially loved the female body—he was all 
for exploring its varieties, big tits, little tits,

he wasn’t one of those one-size-only guys. 
I wouldn’t have worried about the sheets,
the tedium of having him across from me
at breakfast. The night and its wilds would have
lured me straight upstairs to bed, pulling
him along, and I would have cried out the way

I knew made men crazy and whispered hot
into his ear, his neck, and when he asked if
it was good for me, I would have laughed
as if nothing had ever been better. Now he sat
on the couch, gulping his wine, saying
whatever he said, wiping his glasses

on his shirt tail from time to time 
as if to bring me into better focus. Drink up
and get out of here, I thought, tonguing 
the sore in my mouth that in another age
would have made me dread being syphilitic 
but now was only proof I’d eaten way too many

ripe persimmons. He gave a pleading sigh. 
Should I offer him some persimmon cake?
No. It was getting really late; why ruin  
his sleep with an excess of sugar,
send him home to sit insomniac like me, 
ransacking profiles on