The Third Poem
1 A month after I left grad school, I was put on a contraceptive patch.
Two days later I met my ex-boyfriend
1.1 An alphabet is created
1.11 Aggression, chicken bones, boys with long index fingers
1.12 I often wonder how much to hold back in my
Write. Or should I confess
1.13 In A Lover’s Discourse, Barthes says: “Where is there
is a wound, there is a subject.”
1.14 As a student of semiotics I told myself that he was a
place of continuation
1.15 Of course I ignored the fact that he was married
1.16 That woman over there,
eating a Chinese egg tart with both hands
1.17 I was taught not to have any sympathy for metaphors in poetry
1.18 Turtle Soup, Calabrian Olives, Hippodrome
1.19 He was a mouth breather, yea; but it was huge
2 I’m always ready to retrieve codes
2.1 Punched holes in a sheet of paper, Courbet
in search of pomegranates
2.11 This weekend we went to his mother’s house in Palm Desert,
I let him fuck me in the ass in the pool house.
2.12 Or what I was going to say, I always try to surround myself
with as much irony as possible
2.13 Not all husbands have read Moby Dick
2.14 You do not need to undress
to find the place where lust takes root
2.15 When he texted me to say his wife had filed I was
Buy turpentine and hand soap at the hardware store
2.16 Turn off the fax machine, I yelled into his mouth
2.17 I have suffered from somatic omissions since childhood
2.18 Dark blue taffeta, cold liquid, heated between a woman’s legs
2.19 Maybe that was the problem for the 18 months we had
were together, I let him convince me
that I was the punctum
2.20 A stutterer, later Wittgenstein,
how a woman becomes her own cunt
2.21 Last night I dreamed that I saw David Reiff in a bar in Westchester.
He drank a vodka gimlet. A ukulele rested on his lap.
His hands wrapped around it like a snake.
2.22 When I walked over to say hello, he pretended to know my gender,
and photographed it.
Ann Pedone is the author of The Medea Notebooks (Spring 2023, Etruscan Press), The Italian Professor’s Wife (Presse 53), and the popular books The Bird Happened, Maybe there is a sky we don’t know: a re-imagining by sappho, everywhere where you put your mouth, sea [break], and DREAM/WORK. Her work has recently appeared in The American Journal of Poetry, Chicago Quarterly Review, The Louisville Review, Gigantic Sequins, New York Quarterly, Narrative Magazine and Conduit. Her poetry has been nominated for Best of the Net.
Gustave Courbet, Still Life with Apples and Pomegranates, 1871. Oil on canvas, National Gallery, London