"Under the Water, Carry the Water"

Lisa Wells

                                                         after Talking Heads

If there is weeping in this place, no one hears.

All the riding mowers going and the men
astride their machines, float along the lawns
with princely composure.

I am alive in the house each night and so
I sense the grasses straining

                 they throb and they extend.

I loved my husband best when he was spent,
slicked with sweat, delivered shirtless
from the yard.

Here, an outside man is paid to do it

and there is time to observe
the churn

of rotors
roaring in my forehead.

To endure this

all I have to do is last.




Morning came and came
again, I rose

put coffee on and waited

in the bathtub
while the water flowed

loathed and craved what most
I needed

the man in my kitchen
hardly known, hardly knows

the water holds me down.
Born again

from a lukewarm rill
an inner counsel warns

there may be some discomfort
in taking other forms.

Yank the plug—funnel touches down
sounds the suction.

Which way it came or where
the water goes

I couldn’t say.




Wake to touch the potted earth,
gauge its moisture, the spring
in the fronds, feel for rot.

I have a feel for it.

I have forfeited his hands

moonrise in the ridged nails
platinum band.

In sleep
he bucked with dreams
he stole the sheet

all the hours we shared a bed

now night song leaks into my ears unchanged

                               it rings within
                                                 the gutted room
                                    you lose



and the platitude is true:      life goes on

it goes and goes