“The Double Ds of Desire and Despair”, a Poem by Teresa Leo

It is our pleasure to present this poem by Teresa Leo from her book, The Halo Rule, on sale now at Elixir Press. Reprinted with permission.

The Double Ds of Desire and Despair

are in the long, slow torso of a woman bent back, seeing
and not being seen. It’s a cache problem: a steady line

of two-faced two-fers on a Saturday night, the Double Divas
porn site he logged off of when she walked in the room.

No honesty counter, no small-breasted action figure
to save this boy who meets the world

then checks his e-mail before he shuts down.
He spins around in his chair with the kind of satisfaction

that comes from the gotten-over-on,
the something-well-transacted, the just-got-greased.

This is the old fish story that legends are made of,
not the come-heres and fisticuffs of what actually happened,

what made her go to the living room,
let him finger her while watching the movie,

the way he’ll be distracted, later, during sex,
by Rodin’s Nude hanging over the bed

like a broad-band vision of all that looks good
but doesn’t speak. When he starts the NC-17 talk

in her ear, she listens carefully, arches her back,
murderous and sentimental, like a staircase.

See also:

“Facing the Wall”, a Poem by Janet Aalfs