The Skirt



You laid your plaited skirt

on the foot of my bed,

neatly folded as though

in doing so you could somehow

retain your virtue.


In the midst of our fleshy thrashings,

I kicked it to the floor, and you began

to cry, deep sobs that rattled

the mattress springs.


I moved, too reluctantly, to retrieve it

but you said, “Why bother? You’ve ruined it.

You’ve ruined me. You’ve ruined everything!”


Making love doesn’t always

mean making sense,

and so I threw my feet to the floor,

pulled on my jeans, and looked back,

although I would never be able to see.


“So that’s it?” you sobbed.


In affirmation, I buttoned my shirt

and turned toward the door,

and as an afterthought, picked up

your once plaited skirt, tossed it

carelessly over my shoulder,


and left.


Immodest Modesty


I am chastened by my own diffidence
humbled by my modesty and proud of
my own shy reserve. No one can touch
the depths of my self-deprecation, nor
measure the breadth of my charitable
heart. I am the king of paupers and the
meekest of the mighty; who then shall
match me sacrifice for sacrifice? I am
stealthy in spirit and mild in manner.
I am the best of the least and properly
pious. I should be highly recognized
for eschewing any recognition, for I am
uniquely unassuming and insanely
inconspicuous. People sing praises
about my passionate poverty and in my
retiring regality, I demur. I am me,
as modest as can be.