That slick monster sat down with us all.
A man wants to know mouth-first
what my face does looking at him,
if my eyes are cogitating wells
of sweet soup. He imagines me forward
then bent as in over. The idea is I’ll say yes,
go to the car for unbuttoning
but a wife flashed back in the way.
So I don’t visit the details of convention.
When I say I like a man who knows
what he wants, there’s nothing more
about him to like. Nowhere else to be,
I stand under the snow face-
first, the mouth my summoning shrine.
Copyright © 2019 by Lillian-Yvonne Bertram. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 18, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.
“I was writing ‘money poems’ about financial precarity while being surrounded by wealth and the power of money (I live in Boston). After the Kavanaugh hearings I was thinking of all the ways women have to move in this world, the show they have to put on, so they seem deferential to these uninteresting men with wealth and power. When I look back at this poem, the feeling that resonates with me is one of extreme eye-rolling and frustration.”