Chelsea Whitton


My lover’s wife is unlike me.
She goes like a fine green trick

of the light, her hair disarranged
with begonias and ballpoint pens.

I bought her book. It isn’t as pretty
as she is—at least that is what all

men say. Anyway, I haven’t read it.
I just carry it around to get it dirty.

I had a dream I sphinxed
my lover’s wife—I mean that

I riddled her and whipped her
with my tail. It was erotic as

a coffin turning over. I did not have
enough gin for her bath. Her skin

burnt carbon, in the dream, that tonic
smell of forms in triplicate. I woke up

coughing like an engine stalling out. If I
became my lover’s wife, I would not be

as pretty as my lover’s wife. I think, if I
could kill her—I could never kill her,

though I should, for she has taken fire
from August, has unmade a thing

I loved—if I could kill her, splash
the bottle-green of her with pitch, I think

the light would go to someplace
else, would not be left to me.

One thought on “Chelsea Whitton

  1. […] is a great web publication, and which ran a gut-punching poem by Chelsea Whitton called “My Lover’s Wife” in its third issue. I read it months ago and am still not over it. Go read it […]

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