Reading an Ex Lover’s
I donít mind if you say her blouse
fell open like thunder, or if you recall
the amethyst veins inside her eyelids, the sand
in the delicate ditch of her neck. Go ahead
and compare the strung lights of the pier
to white streamers behind a black wedding car.
And those sea oats, scraping
under the constellations, did console.
But I have a problem
with the way you describe the body
of the crab washed up that morning
as an orchid, as a music box, as
if it were intact, when in fact
the thing was pink chunks of meat
that floated away from each other,
blue broken pieces of shell on a gut-string.
You saw it. You
that enormous claw, dangling
like a polite, ridiculous teacup.
Ashley Capps is completing her MFA from the University of Iowa. Her first book of poems, Mistaking the Sea for Green Fields, was chosen by Gerald Stern as the winner of the 2005 Akron Poetry Prize.