To the Laureate

Such applause — the revelation,
the confession — the renaming
of Betelguese as a wife’s black eye.

Would that I spelled my name proper,
that I, once told and brief forgotten
could achieve such bandaleered laurels,

as to divest with certain and grim
exposition, the foibles — the guts of it —
capered and rinsed,

full well knowing the paint
that hides a stain will thin
with each scourged scrubbing,

until there, down to bare sheetrock
and through the paper through —
gypsum — the chalk of our lives.

Seek that, the clean and burnished wall,
the sleek unbridled, the mouth of your love,
the teeth and all the things you’ve chewed,

the known and never swallowed, the vast
unloading, portraits of dead things honed
to a scratch — as such and such and such is our prize.

Image: Sam Haddad on Unsplash

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