Single Kings of the Valley

Cait Weiss Orcutt
Our father becomes one. Barrel-Chested
with Longboard seeks Mate. King Father
is dating. Long live the King. He asks out

colleagues, neighbors, strangers he meets
at Spazzio’s Jazz Night, Zuma Beach.
He dates the moonlight, his reflection,

the long-ago that got away. The King says
Why the hell shouldn’t I get what I’ve longed for?
Nip waist, taut tum. Where is she? His exile

from the good stuff. You girls can’t imagine
the pain you’ll cause men. Nope, we don’t
& we can’t yet but we do know the King

cannot consider us worthy. How could he?
As women, we fail him daily. Love, I’m learning,
is peeling your mind from your body, throwing

one or both sad sacks of self out to sea. Love
is blood & our father. I give no inch. I judge
the world from the margins of diaries. Men

are the problem with everything. King Father
slices lemons from our lemon trees. Citrus grows
in the grove beneath my bed. Mom lived

in our guesthouse for three years before leaving.
She peeled herself slowly off his heart like a scab.
What is the point of such maiming? Now the King

isn’t careful when he walks by the branches.
He barges through trees & their thorns.
King Single can’t remember his heart soft

& rindless. The new women are beautiful,
or not, or enough to get by. I watch him
take a lover. She is insane. The king peels

a lemon, lays each slice on her plate.
She requests lime. He hands us
whole fruits when we eat at the table.

He takes his longboard to the ocean,
                                  kicks flat water into waves.