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Asking price

Jill Beauchesne

I was poised inside a high school bathroom stall.
The tile floor sopping
and gathering toilet paper, pantyhose.
And you, love—you were there—
and which of us was most terrible—
my underside and my rocket
your lovely forehead, your smile, the racket
of our walking in step
when we did not need
to protect our payment.
I colored our mouths. We ran each new moon
and fell against it, each suburb street
a pucker against the next—
each blazing living room
a lilt of television half-light.
The after-image—a half-eaten melon rind,
a dead grasshopper.

We have gone the way of the pioneer.
We have invited ourselves into the largest house.
I dip my forefinger into a cupcake,
line the hall with frosting and spit.
You laugh and cut up the carpet with a penknife.
You cling hard to the baseboard.
“This is our home,” you gasp, you grin.
And we begin the rage
all over ourselves.

Jill Beauchesne

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