Belle du Jour

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

Remain untrimmed.


Poem posted in The Ashbery Home School–thanks to Emily Skillings.