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Fantastic Lovers by Nancy Gauquier.

He says she could be his ideal woman,

if only

her teeth were straighter,

her hair longer,

she wore make-up,

she was a better housekeeper,

a decent cook,

a little more passive in bed,

a little more active in bed,

(if only

she could discern

which and when)

if only

she could move through

his most avid wet dreams,

pushing aside his passive Marilyn,

his active Madonna,

and prevent him from waking

to face the actuality

of aging flesh,

if only

she could afford

a few face lifts,

a mid-drift tuck,

firmer breasts,

a lobotomy,

if only

she could stop writing

those embarrassing poems,

if only

she could forgive

an occasional digression,

if only

he could order her

like pizza

on nights when he doesn’t

want to go out,

if only

she could sit contently

while he drinks his six-pack

and belches his way to numbness,

without a single glance,

if only

she didn’t leap out of doorways

and dance about the house

like someone entranced

by her own fantasies,

if only

she were someone else,

if only

he were.


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