Meryl Natchez

Stuck in the Middle with You

Larry is watching the scene with the duct tape 
and razor from “Reservoir Dogs,”
grinning and eating pistachios.
I have to look away.

It’s the wrong moment for “Lucky,”
the wrong moment for any poem 
I might read him, though the calculated, 
casual laceration on the screen

is a sort of aria of American violence,
part of our national fabric, like football
and invasion and prizefights

and men have an appetite for it
just as women love the pinch
and pitch of stilettos,
the beauty and the pain 
part of one package.

Because I have my own 
dark pleasures
I turn and wait for another moment,
when my husband’s eyes aren’t alight
with animal delight

and he is open to a more subtle beauty, 
as he so often is,
as both of us so often are,
as we falter together 
along the catwalk of consciousness.