Every month or so,
when his old lady evicts him
or my name comes up next
on his rolodex list,
he comes,
needing twenty bucks ’til payday,
my understanding,
to be scratched,
fucked and fed.

I think of him
like the neighborhood tom-cat,
rubbing up against my ankles,
wanting a fresh bowl of milk
and a warm place to crash.
I touch him,
love him,
persuade myself I have
an exotic new house pet.
After twenty minutes,
the purring quits and
he’s all nerves and claws,
ready to resume his prowling,
wanting outside.

By daybreak,
he’s talking how
we’ve gotta keep things
Have no expectations,
he repeatedly says.
One kiss later,
that damned Coyote
takes four cookies
and my car keys,
disappears out the door.


His first wife had
to escape by leaving
the country.
This should have
been a clue asking
for divorce might
be a problem.
When I sat him down,
brought up the subject,
he was suddenly deaf.
I hired a therapist,
rehearsed exit lines
for over two years.
Recited my speech
to him in her office.
He insisted our marriage
was flawless.
I realized talking
was pointless.
Ran for my life
while he was out.
Mutely left a
Dear John note
on the table.


Watch her balloon
before your eyes.
Slender ribs disappear
under pasty flab.
Her sexy growl
sounds more like
deep smoker’s rasp.
Goddess breasts deflate,
unused, untouched,
nipples no longer perky.
Juicy nights discontinued,
fairy tales from the past.
Bikini wax unnecessary,
not worth the trouble.
Everything down there
in deep hibernation.
Time hasn’t been kind.
She wakes late,
arthritic and cranky,
with leg stubble,
mattress hair,
by her own
morning breath.

Jennifer Lagier has published nine books of poetry and in a variety of literary magazines and anthologies. She taught with California Poets in the Schools and is now a retired college librarian/instructor. Jennifer is a member of the Italian American Writers Association and Rockford Writers Guild. She co-edits the Homestead Review and maintains websites for Ping Pong: A Literary Journal of the Henry Miller Library, The Monterey Poetry Review, and misfitmagazine.net. She also helps coordinate the Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium’s Second Sunday Reading Series. Visit her website at: jlagier.net