/Whatever is best for him is best for her/

Whatever is best for him is best for her. One,
the abused party, the other, defendant in a
case predicting her next move, a future
changed by incidental choices, a list of words
never to use in poems: adultery, arc, cheating,
divorce—never wanting to sound like a child—
dependent—a parasite sucking his labor, a new
hybrid in the driveway color of her platinum
band, promise of principles old as Euler—num-
bers never lie—mathematics a good substitute
for Truth, hybrid a good substitute for clean
air—energy efficient and cost-saving. We know
how the system works.
Metal leaving a small
print on her ring finger, bare each Tuesday at
two—Motel Six or Prospect Park—private enough
for dreams not secured by wedding bands or
mortgages, bonds a function of some unknown
[f(x)] derived from a formula, exhausted by mar-
riage, by pretending to want him since knowing
desire reckless as lust, the need of it so much
greater than any risk, as unaccountable as the
cowgirl she dreamed of, gripping their sheets like
reins at night on a frontier beyond their house.
She is worn like their feather pillows. Only her
memories of mending stitch her up.

Clara B. Jones is a retired scientist, currently practicing poetry in Asheville, NC, USA. As a woman of color, she writes about the “performance” of identity and power and conducts research on experimental poetry. Clara is author of two chapbooks, and her poems, reviews, essays, and interviews have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous venues.

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