Susan Nisenbaum Becker

What Creature

Four legs and arms.  Duo of stacked bone columns.
Two skulls and noses, quartet of ears,

Thirty-two teeth in jaws, twice counted. Two pairs of eyes—
brown/brown green/green—under four closed lids.

Twenty fingers and toes, and different sexes each tucked
between a pair of thighs. What creature rolls

under those white sheets? Twice the brains with how
many canyons and ridges and, inside those sulci

and gyri, double the dreams and poems embryonic,
murmuring somewhere

within twin foreheads gleaming

like porcelain plates in the coming light.

Him (Her)

The dream happened in my house:

I threw him (her) out the window.

The newspaper which I hid under the chair

had something to do with it and I was suspected.

My father (mother) searched my room.

I even went to church but when I got

there the service took a pause. I was scared

of being caught. And sorry.

You know, the dream’s your fault. In the afternoon

we made love and I felt like crying. You

with your miner’s lamp unearthed

the dark veins. All the ores

venial and mortal, mine (unmine)

pick-axed, shoveled, sorted, washed, rising up

through the house, out the window, filling the silent

church. Even the sorry going, going.

Susan Nisenbaum Becker’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The MacGuffin, Crab Orchard Review, The Harvard Review, Poetry East, and Calyx among others. Susan has received numerous Local Massachusetts Cultural Council Grants and she has held many prestigious residencies. Her first full-length book of poems, Little Architects of Time and Space, was published by WordTech Communications/Word Poetry in 2013.