Ernie Wormwood


            More women have broken heart tattoos than men
                                                    John Irving

He thought the way he loved her,
just as he thought the way he loved his wife,
was enough.

His newest lover, his student,
increased the tension palpably, so he hid
the scissors, the knives

Wherever he was
and he napped like a nervous new mother
because of his new Baby.

It is not ours to know
what mix of alchemy and intimacy
his old lover used,

But one morning, having returned to the marital bed
and his sleeping wife,
very late,

He arises in the shadowy dark, picks up his razor,
sends the shaving cream
to his fingers,

Stands on his lusty homo sapiens feet,
looks into the Venetian glass over the his
and the wife Jane's sinks,

And sees the name, announcing his right shoulder,
a mistress's manifesto in a bleeding red heart

Ernie Wormwood, a native Washingtonian, lives in Leonardtown, Maryland.  She recently appeared on Grace Cavalieri's The Poet and the Poem for the Library of Congress and has new work coming out in an anthology on Walt Whitman and in the book Poem, Revised, Marion Street Press, September 2007.



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