A medieval remedy for divorce

If they lock me in a room with him.

If they tell me I have six weeks with the bastard.

If I have to share the table, bed, pillow, lamp, food with him,

hear him chewing his meat like a sheep chews hay,

smell him even if we're at opposite ends of this dismal

room the size of a cupboard, screw him because the bishop

said it's better than divorce.


Did I ask to be this girl here in this town with this man?

He looks at me and sees young skin you can bend over

the trough or the small chair where the wool waits

to be spun and smells of oil and that smell is always

in my nostrils as he pulls up my skirts. I have no idea

why God put the gold of dandelions in this world.


I will take the small axe beside the wood pile and cut

off his member to a stump the smell of metal in the warm

room the scent of rain in the street as if life was starting

from the day of birth and this time I was male

and thoughts could run straight from brain to tongue

on and on and on and still it is a gospel of sorts.

The day lingers on the hair of that boy like meadow rue

that boy who is this girl who has breasts like river stones.