An obsessed lover lives in the crawl space
beneath the house where the object of her desire resides.
She taps the phone, working with a flashlight in her teeth,
canceling appointments and erasing messages.
The woman above is sure she has a family of possums,
and the woman down there has hair like a rat's nest.
Both have wavy hair like Medusa.
Both are afraid of the wrong thing.
The frontal lobes above the hearth
make us feel safe that we are not that hidden woman,
sleeping with scorpions, whose governor has resigned.
We may ignore what thrives below the floor:
the boxes full of wires, the white crickets, the snakes
at a level so low we have forgotten we stay
there too in the dirt of our unreturned love.
To my Mother's Backbone
I would not tell you I would
not even if your cobweb mind
could trap the other story
of how your curses hurt me
a cockroach flying at you
an unwanted transmission
a vibration your spider
heart cannot trace no I would
not tell you even though
you asked me once and I thought
to but then again what good
would come of it when you
have shrunk in all ways
feeble as a late autumn fly
dragging a dead leg behind you
at the decayed temple where
what's deaf as snakes cannot pray
Robin Scofield is the author of And the Ass Saw the Angel and Sunflower Cantos. (forthcoming). Other poems appear in The Mas Tequila Review and The Warwick Review.