Julie Bonaduce

( Portland, Oregon )

The Company Of
In Three Movements

I. Pink Allegro

I’ve given blowjobs on couches
to men who didn’t want me anymore
each knowing this, choosing
to look the other way. Out, in
out, in, breathe
while my ribs are a weight
my skin is sweat and
I seethe. Out, in, watch
for the arch of their backs
the way their thighs lock up and shake
right before they grab
my hair and the used-to-be-music
of their breath swells and
I go to the freezer and pull out
an ice cube. I suck it until
it’s gone.

II. Adagio Largo, Rouge

Is it because of all those thankless blowjobs
that the blurry-faced doctor — that
revered treasurer
that father of fear and
mother of nothing,
peers up over the sheet covering
my knees and all the blood
pouring unhindered through
the hole in my own motherhood
and asks, “weren’t you Ready?”
Does he think I deserved it because
of a used turn of my lips or
ghosted shape of need in my hands?
I want to shout at him,
“You’re right! I should have
gotten more ready between
the torn buttons and
the hand covering my mouth,”
but instead, I am the
moon-faced clock on the wall.

III. Blanco Menuetto

In 1980, the words
date rape don’t exist. And they
won’t become a Lifetime
movie-of-the-week punch line
for another 10 years or more.
The question now is
how to be a banner: generous
and unfurled, more than a tongueless
expert witness in sensible shoes.

© 2002 Julie Bonaduce

Cheryl Dodds - Eye Music

I - Persephone in the Field
II - Debris of Dreams
III - Are You Listening?
IV - Monologues for an Apocalypse

Ace Boggess - Abuse Cycle
Marty McConnell - girl on the tracks
Gary Whitehead - Tableaux
Alan Catlin - in the pitch of citrus

Spring Supplement 2002 Issue
Winter 2002 Issue