Becca Jensen

from Mr. G’s Domestic Tale

The Chorus

                      Then, Option B or Young Glynis Young’s The Loss of a Loss:

All was.  Was, amen.  All was cedar wood
and china.  The soundless blue of a white cloud
as it’s thrown into relief.  So she keeps herself unto
herself, at breakfast and always.  Until one day,

loneliness—her golden hand—reaches warm
to the ground.  Quietly, his slim body wrapped
in her morning skirt wide with dew.

                                                 (She had only to want something
                                                 in the beginning it mattered not what.)

But without loneliness she was unto herself
no longer.  A hot pursuit of a hand—this version
of her former self: his greased eyebrows, his sunburned
throat.  She leans: a fresh sincerity over a field

while the air mingles with mud-worn shoes.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

We Meet The Daughter from All Three Sides

I.  The Hardship of Solitude

The fiend sleeps inside
the hull.  It visits
her by day.  Carpet
spiking thinly into stomach

and elbows.  Sunlight.  Charts.
“And I can see
my soul is green
like Bulgaria.” “One should

always distrust people who
know things,” the fiend
quotes and nods its
head into the sky

angels bouncing wisely.  “Inevitably
they are cruel.” So
it goes everyday as
they climb the masthead

together, hair moldy from
trapped seawater. “How special
one feels,” she’d say,
“spinning around an open

tomb.  Now it’s your
turn.”  And the fiend
would undress swift and
sad being born of

the sea.  It’s violet
skin shaking through the
twilight.  Foam at its
neck.  Air,
like bells.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

The Chorus:

                       Then, Option A or There Is Something in God That Is Not God:

And so we meet Mr. G. cracking his knuckles over the loss that is his love for YGY.  Not
a pleasant sight and yet, we must look it in the face, must understand that his black, hairy
knuckles are the center of his heart: his one, one, one—one command, one joy, one desire.
And crack goes the rustle of the slender hairs like a thousand desert hooves of which there
are none.  So that his heart, his loss is now two.  And this two names herself Mrs. G.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

The Chorus Plays Its Part

The angel of its face.  The grind of the prison house.  Yes, first the eyes must go.  Fetters
and brass.  The body—soft plume of a high tower and cut down the center toward the

round of its belly.  Read: again, on top of.  Rib of rock.  Then the red sails.  Rusty
treasure.  A certain shade of grief.  And afterwards what to do with an analyzed soul?  A
creature stirring

up.  Its thick thighs and open toes.  Dusty at the fingertips.  On the way hence.  Read: on
top of.  Yes, to set with dogs.  To tear into its crown.  This is the general sense but not the

order of a lonely war.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

II.  What Exile from Himself Can Flee?

                                     1.  Larboard and starboard all set to the sky

                                     2.  Spritsail foresail through—full—and by

                                     3.  Prosperous gales and a fly follow quick

                                     4.  Ballast broad off and the hull spreading thick

                                     5.  Bulkheads and midship searching an end

                                     6.  Jib & boom & stern we depend

                                     7.  Hammocks! nettings! a-bubble! squeak!

                                     8.  Land’s back dwindled, bleak

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

III. So the Moon of Her Exile Met the Sky with Light

So she sung:

             The moon is an exile
                         but a well in the desert nonetheless.

So there were sails and a moon and a song.

So her ship moved with a magnificent underbelly through the desert of her song.

So this is how humanity the daughter touched life at the base

             of her parents’ footprint and there sprang chariots, a bloodied field, eyeless purple
             bodies—be grateful you’re not burning, Oil men! their shoulders tight round the
             horizon, high necked birds! and Oil men!, an entire people left to the flood, the
             pure gore of a suitor—his open heart as he lets go of the ship, the teeth of a gale,
             poor Atlas the Baleful and his concrete feet his mobster eyes in the middle of the
             sea, “excuse me of this assertion, but it was something to watch and see the pieces
             of trees flying in the air.”

return to SHAMPOO 38