Pastoral: Girl on Girl

If you can make me laugh so hard at dinner my jaw hurts
and if you have a sheaf of shiny tamarind-orange hair
and if you say Holy smokes! in gosh-mouthed delight when cinched
into the black satin 24-inch waisted corset dress that shows up how white your Irish skin
and if you know how to make yourself gush onto the hotel towel
then come down from the mountain where you built your house and birthed your babies
and let me put the tip of my tongue
on all your folded peach places.
Later, let’s put ourselves in pigtails and cheer skirts and knee highs
and hold hands
and walk through the buffet line gauntlet in the restaurant
shuddering giddily with the silliness of power seized in this way.
Your husband will tell us how the two men passed,
turned back, and collapsed against each other in our wake.
Let’s skip.
Later, let’s scissor our legs under soft sheets and match up our sticky.
Later, I will teach you how to knit.
Later, you will tell me about your oldest, anxious boy.
Later, you will be lying with your beautiful happy face four inches away from my face
while my boyfriend plows me from behind,
and when I call out, uncontrollably, Daddy
I will hear echoed back into my breath the pitch of light
as you open your own mouth in the stunned and shared pleasure of blissful abjection.

Arielle Greenberg’s most recent books are Slice and Locally Made Panties. She is co-author, with Rachel Zucker, of Home/Birth: A Poemic, and co-editor of three anthologies: most recently, with Lara Glenum and Becca Klaver, Electric Gurlesque. Arielle writes a column on contemporary poetics for the American Poetry Review, edits the series (K)ink: Writing While Deviant for The Rumpus, and lives in Maine, where she teaches in the community and in Oregon State University-Cascades’ MFA.