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Published: Thu Jul 1 2010
Wosene Worke Kosrof, The Inventor V (detail), 2022, acrylic on linen. Courtesy of Sullivan Goss Gallery, Santa Barbara, California
Next Minute

I brought to him the cups of tea
he smashed across the room.
I brought to him the honey spoons
he pasted on the wall.

And brought to him the tissues
he wadded up his nose
and capsules quartered, and music
softened—

His fever barely weakened him—
he shoved our bed against the door—
who had we become, though I didn’t care
just then—I pounded that door to hell.

Hell
was where I wanted him,
next minute not soon enough,
nor blink of eyes, nor breath.

Martha Rhodes is the author of three collections of poems: At the Gate (Provincetown Poetry Series, 1995), Perfect Disappearance (New Issues Press, 2000), and Mother Quiet (Zoo Press, 2004). Her work has appeared in AGNI, American Poetry Review, Fence, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, and many other magazines. She is director of Four Way Books and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She lives in New York City. (updated 6/2010)

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