Come Fetch

posted May 5, 2015

I was the worst of all possible
wives. I married the wrong man
and followed him home. I slept
at his feet, I begged at his table

for scraps. These were the beds
we'd made and so we lay there, stiff
and soundless. And some nights
he moved above me joylessly

then left to wash and sleep
in other beds, wrapped in other
blankets. Days I wandered
through his many-chambered

heart and inside every empty room
I found a cabinet, locked. I didn't need
the key. I knew whose slender
untouched body I would see inside, knew

I'd find her facedown, smudged with earth
because a man like him will do that
when he loves. I pawed her
up again, I nosed the dulcet

rot of her, the savory flesh
of thighs and ass. I saw that she
looked nothing like me, not even
in the moss and rigor mortis of her afterlife

apparel. I loved him then. I gripped
her by the ankle and dragged her
to the hearth. I brought both our bodies
back for proof.

Nancy Reddy is the author of Double Jinx: Poems (Milkweed Editions, 2015), winner of the 2014 National Poetry Series. Her poems have most recently appeared in Tupelo Quarterly, 32 Poems, and Smartish Pace. She is a doctoral candidate in Composition and Rhetoric at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she also earned her MFA in poetry.

We’ve published three more poems by Reddy: “Before & After, Botched,” “Rabbit Starvation,” and “We Won't Make it to the Talkies.”