Athenian Wife Waiting For Her Husband

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Old 12-Oct-2010
Athenian Wife Waiting For Her Husband

Damp cheese crumbles on my fingers.
I lick it slowly, let myself linger
here alone. I've had them cook the fish
the way I know he likes it, the best bite,
that muscle of cheek still moist and tight
for him. For him. But where is he now
at dusk? Cupping his wine cup, sipping
with his men, smiling at them, nipping
a bit of leek, a puckered olive tucked
beneath his tongue? How I would love to hear
his words as he puts his lips to the ear
of another man. Or is it some boy again,
a shapely mouth, a blond head that blinds
him with love each month or so? Do I mind?
I try not to think. I rub a red root
in circles on my cheeks and wait for his thighs,
those runner's thighs to bring him back. I sigh
and hold my own hands. They're cool and closed.
I want him to come here and open them,
lift up my beaded, belted robes, and then
forget that boy he kissed an hour ago,
who made the honeyed hills of Athens hum,
who held my husband's body so hard the sun
rushed into his head
and burned me away -- woman,
wife, bed.

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