I keep a pet
woman under my bed.
She's small
and feisty, with sharp teeth.

I make her
wear all the clothes I hate;
high heels, garter belts, clingy velour.
I feed her chocolate and wine from a box.
She glares at me as she twirls
the curling iron through her brown hair.
I let her out once a week for a bubble bath.

When she's PMSing
she kicks the bottom of my mattress
to keep me awake. I punish her
by taking away her cable.
She pouts, spends all day looking at her mirror
instead of me. I get her a fist-sized disco ball:
we kiss and make up.

She's so small
I can fit my tongue
all the way around her neck.
She tastes of vinegar and honey.

When she's been good I let her sleep at the foot of my bed.
Sometimes I wake up
and she's in my mouth.
I chew her
hair softly, like a cow would,
if it had the heart of a wolf.
Then I put her back in her cage.
She cries and dresses in white
until the moon

--- From The Salt Daughter
Little Poem Press
PO Box 185
Falls Church
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