Always Ask a Wife

(Sapphic Stanzas)

Daughter mine, don’t mourn so your father’s passing.
He’s among those things he desired while living:
humid earthy succubi, burning flesh of

Hope was always least of his notes; his scornful
jeers at hell, at Abraham’s bosom, heaven,
angels, crosses, fractured his soul, and mine if
only he’d known me.

He was Christian; so was our Torquemada.
And he read it all, from St. Paul to Dante,
seeking proofs; Original Sin he proved by
all that he favored.

Yet I loved him. Did he love me? at times he
claimed so; adding notes of nirvana false to
hear, and mixed with calls on my flesh beyond my
patient endurance.

But I’d not bemoan in the least his claim to
stark dominion over my soul and body.
Adam’s Eve accepted her office; I too.
nevertheless I . . .

No, you cannot fathom these things my daughter;
you are not a wife. For the truth of human nature
still has spared you. You have not felt its fury.
Always ask a wife.

Dayton, Ohio, 2012