Allowed to Watch, I Don’t

by Matthew Olive

make love. I make excuses about how I can’t fuck
you while the dog watches. How many times
can I say is he still here? without beginning

to reference myself? My mother inserts
herself into my private life by simply suggesting
it doesn’t exist. I can’t even come out

wrapped in your sweaty sheets without her
renaming me a different disciple, a newborn with nails
painted the wrong shade of green. She hangs

saved mobiles & broken ceiling fans
from the holes in our unraised canopies.
I watch, and like clouds, they open up to rain

the most phallic shower of leaves. In dreams,
the dog catches all the critters stuck in our attic,
walls & trees. Not even his twitching paws allow him

to escape halfway-seen. Before he wakes, we cover
all the bases of foreplay, whisper
all the names of relapsed sons we found & passed

in unrequited alleyways. We count morning                            
stars falling for their target audiences. We aren’t
to blame for shots that pan from bare bed to window

or for the dog’s castration scheduled later in the day.
We pour black beer into glass spades for breakfast.
He laps up the head like a lucky stranger: there is

no residual taste of shame.
My mother ends phone calls with God is watching
over you . . .Oops! Did you displace God with camera-

cum-eye-cum-fantasy last night, too? Likewise,
even when we’re fucking endlessly, our ungraced eyes
roll back to a beginning when we’re not looking
for any end to watch out for.

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