The housewife birds
To another house-black lace stockings
Here sex is transactional
She gives a little. He pays a lot
She birds back-sofa purchased
Suits cleaned. Walk here and there
The shops @) and (@) and (@)
Chanel, Dior, Hermes
Silks and leather –Leather and silk
She memorizes the number of tassels
On her brand new whip.
Silk and leather and diamond shaped bird
Her earnings consumed in pretty things
Husband finds –mis understanding Where
He beats her after sex
She gives a little. He takes a lot.
She considers the whip. She considers the blood
Down his back. She considers the sofa. She
Puts the bird on her chest. She refuses to
Husband washes his hands and considers
The necessity of marriage. What is wife but
Bird. But if bird, what is husband. Hunter or
Just another bird. Blood runs down his back.
Home is après ski and minor gossip
Home is husband
Home is where the cat’s claws
Poem posted in The Ashbery Home School–thanks to Emily Skillings.