Salesman's cologne (don't bother me!) Wicker dressed
in tubes, that most human of things—metal.
Legs splayed like a horny dog.
(Ethan Allen would bark!) Hidden slivers
of rape covered with wood plugs—nines sing
from the detector—my eyes.
I'll keep it 16 years (if I can find it)
Miter for the regular polygon,
still called steel-square cuts. (The rogues!)
Dados and rabbets, flying and hopping. (kidding)
Don't sell me that pith-lined pulp!
Keep the metal=man out of the joint!
Show me the dowels lubricated
with glue gently penetrating...
(Say it! The holes)
Lift the skirt, show me her shiny parts,
the black cherry stain
of true love covered
with varnish to preserve like a woman keeps
her blooded first sheets
in a dovetailed box made of cedar.
Water was the first mirror, metal, the second.
(The salesman asks me to leave)
Wood's downfall when we made metal water.
Water's downfall when we believed metal's lie.
This table lies. (She whispers in my ear—
"Sugar Pine." "Particle board" I sneer.)
I didn't come in looking
for a table made of wood. (=woman-man)
First, I opened packages.
(Happy children playing with the ball—
no happy children inside.
A barbeque with hamburgers
I have a friend who is a Food Designer.
She won an award for making a carrot
into a swan. She wears clothes
that take 30 pounds off her body.
She says I expect too much of honesty.
"Honestly," she says.
A table made of wood seemed an honorable thing.
I could go to another store but the ocean
is still the ocean six doors down
and I'm stubborn as birch. (woman+man)
The salesman says he has one in the back
but it gallops. If it is made of wood,
I will take it home and put matchbooks
under the legs. (=alive+man)
Blue-tie plumb bobs point to the source,
keep the twin in the pants—the other
under your chin. (Look Ma! He's got
a lobster on his crotch! No, dear,
that's a codpiece.) There's a difference
between covered and advertized.
"Honey," she says, "get yourself some long stock
and two stumps. Set them out in that field
you call a brain because that's the closest
you'll get to a table made of wood."