This is Not an Aubade

Courtesy: Li Hui

Courtesy: Li Hui

Even though when our alarm clock rang this morning
I was deeply asleep and besides it was foggy
and so dark that not one bird sang,

by long habit I switched places with the dog
who, though shoved hard, didn’t awaken,
and there we were, my husband and I,

skin to skin, belly to belly,
as if establishing that both of our imperfect bodies
were still here and still friends,

and when my husband’s hand slid to my breast
as if grasping for a handrail made smooth by long use,
the nipple rose up as it always does, even before

he started sucking, but my mind was already
in the kitchen rummaging in the refrigerator
trying to figure out what to cook for dinner tonight

because in our marriage along with the dog
there’s this large black bird who comes flapping over me
every day, sometimes at dawn, sometimes later,

and the bird’s ebony shadow settles onto my flesh
heavier than my husband’s faithful body,
and the bird bawls Dinner, Dinner,

what will you cook for Dinner,
and that’s when I wish my breasts
were still tight and hard with sweet blue milk.