Every few weeks she met Saint Jim in the park.
She just wanted to get on Saint Jim’s bed and float
away; the bed which happened to be on the same
street as her beloved Mark. But, Saint Jim was
difficult and recalcitrant as is often the
case with saints. So, for now she had to be
happy with their short walks and discussions
of New York, October light, tiny animals, and politics.
Saint Jim told her don’t you dare put me in a poem
as he tried to feed a squirrel an acorn.
If I cut my body in half, vertically,
words would come pouring out.
If I cut my body in half, I would
have to cut vertically, I would need
really big scissors to do this
and fish would pour out.
She imagined him telling the next one
about her as he had told her about
the previous one. She imagined him
kissing her as he had kissed the previous
one. She imagined him holding hands
with the future one as he had held hands
with her. She imagined him putting
his hand up the skirt of the future
one near the river as he had put
his hand up her skirt near the river
and up the skirt of the previous one.
She imagined him not telling the future
one nor the past one that he loved them
just as he had not told her he loved her
not in their bar, nor the house, nor by the river.
She imagined him putting his fingers
inside of the others: the future, past and present
as he had put his fingers inside of her.
She imagined him lying to the previous
ones, the future ones, and the current ones.
But some of the facts were also true.
Jennifer Bartlett is the author of three books of poetry and co-editor of Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. She is currently writing a biography on Larry Eigner.