I went once, with a man
who could change day into night.
As I sat on his bed (low slung, almost
on the lino), he reached into his
pocket and brought out a box
bearing my name, slim and coarse
like a matchbox (minus the flint,
of course) and told me
that if I looked inside, kaput.
But if I could endure the hope
of finding out its cardboardy capacity
(and Lord! who could?)
the resulting enlightenment would all be worth it
in the end.
I of course, had my doubts.
Thought of my mother, but then –
(I stayed the night though, and it was only in the
I remembered a friend telling me
a similar story, about my virginity.)
© 2000 by Jacquelyn Arnold