Agamemnon Holds a Full House

             Briseus is just another ante in war


Briseus comes through the kitchen, the back

door, stepping out of her

shoes and into shoes left at the front

by a narrow tendon she saw leaving.

She never cooked lobster bisque

before Agamemnon.


I don’t look into the lobster’s eyes waving on stalks.

Or Agamemnon when he leaves the lights on.


The little shoes have no backs and click,

click on the slate floor between cutting

board and steel stove. Olive oil, a vine-ripened

tomato, garlic, lots of garlic until it’s in her

pores like patchouli, fresh

tarragon and thyme…peppercorns.

Briseus loves language she can eat.


Agamemnon walks in red mud on my clean floors,

piles armor like another man on the couch.

Leaves stains I don’t want to think about.


The yellow Corvair parked in the driveway,

the bobtail cat perched on the porch rail

save her in the rain

when she can’t go anywhere at any speed.

Briseus measures brandy and sherry,

simmers the delicate green tomalley,

mourns a little the sacs of roe.


It’s so much work not killing yourself.