Julie Bonaduce

( Portland, Oregon )

from BFR, Spring Supplement 2002


The Company Of
In Three Movements

I. Pink Allegro

Iíve given blowjobs on couches
to men who didnít 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
itís gone.

II. Adagio Largo, Rouge

Is it because of all those thankless blowjobs 
that the blurry-faced doctor ó 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, ďwerenít you Ready?Ē 
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, 
ďYouíre right!  I should have
gotten more ready between
the torn buttons and
the hand covering my mouth,Ē 
but instead, I am the
moon-faced clock on the wall.

III. Blanco Menuetto

In 1980, the words
date rape donít exist.  And they
wonít 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. 

Next - Vadim Bulitko

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