“Infidelity” by Richard Krawiec

it wasn’t the monkey
hand inside the coconut
unwilling to unclench extra
grains of rice that drove me, nor
cliché of mushroom-capped shaft
leading the blind towards the ditch,
it was that other cliché, mother lost
before she was dead, ice crystals resounding
from the living grave, distant father enthroned
before the TV, his ears deaf to a child’s
entreaties two backs turned
on empty reaching arms
this is what urged me to unclothe
the child I had never escaped,
bare-footed and scampering
for a warm lap, any breast
to nuzzle, at first sign a woman
I loved might be considering how
to close the door on the way out,
it was fear of being alone in the crib
which made me slink away
to insure it would happen


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