Chana Bloch

How the Last Act Begins

The trouble with you is you're not 
loving enough. A drastic
summons, a trumpet of
hard last words.  

I'm dry as a biscuit 	 
but somehow a breast of mine
stiffens, unbuttons
and offers itself. Is that 
what you want?  

Now your body's in bed again, crying 		 
that it can't fall asleep.   
I forget what to feel, but I'll do
what I'm trained to do:  
go barefoot, make the children
take off their shoes. You require
absolute silence.

The mind thinks lemon and the tongue 	 
puckers. But what about the woman 			 
who painted a tiger on the wall so real 
it scared her out of the house?  

I'm not making this up: 
the three of us on tiptoe, the shades
down, the house darkened, and you  
center-stage, wearing
that shiny black satin eye-mask.