The Hot Dog Poem

I smashed a hot dog into her face
because she refused to pass
the catsup because ... I forget why.
So she ran after me and shook me
then took the seven dollars and my keys
and her card and went out to the movies
and I took out my butcher knife
and slammed it on her table and made
four dents in it and then threw
myself on the bed and stared at the cuff
of my shirt and thought how love
chokes you and then I got up and
rubbed salad oil into the dents
and cleaned up the house and
made a pile of my books in the
bedroom and got my pen and set the
phone up in case anyone might call
and looked in my address book
for the list I have of possible
lovers and called a few numbers,
relieved they weren't home, and then
I wrote in my journal how I hate her
then called Nicky on the phone
and we talked during the commercial
about rage.  Then she said she had to
hang up, it was a special on DeGaulle,
so I hung up and leafed through
a book of stories by women about love.

From Extremes: Poems 1971-1981, published by Blue Giant Press (1981). Originally published in Hanging Loose, issue 41. Used by permission of the author.