Poetry Issue 9

   Issue # 9: January-June 2008

Conchitina Cruz

Multiple choice


      a. maybe yesterday, or the month before

      b. right this minute, if only the unscheduled visit

      c. it might be, would have, has been for quite some time


      a. in the car, when she was ten, her bathing suit wet under her shirt

      b. in the unused room, bare, save for a mosquito net and a reading chair

      c. in the cafeteria, provided there was enough light


      a. yes—or no, according to her erratic sense of smell

      b. of course, according to the poet’s rich vocabulary for certainty

      c. if so, according to the pitiful graffiti


      a. the lack, like waking with an unexplained gap between the teeth

      b. what pain, the words all familiar, the syntax askew

      c. absence, minus the blindfold, still


      a. did it begin shortly after she took the elevator to the basement

      b. did it begin when he fucked her against the piss-stained wall

      c. did it begin without want, the conduct unbecoming


      a. because the book was turned to the page with the error

      b. because the book was left with no note of apology

      c. because the book was kept in the bedside drawer


      a. granted, the inevitable boredom that befalls

      b. dispensing with the fanfare and charming indecision

      c. why voice past argument why fervent or pressed to the ground


      a. because he found her sentences heavy on nouns rather than verbs

      b. because he fucked her with blood abloom, the bruises flowering

      c. because he wanted nothing else, nothing more than, none


      a. silent, on the matter of condoms in her purse

      b. silent, on the matter of attention to upholstery

      c. silent, on the matter of mysterious quotes


      a. "If you could only stop thinking of infidelity as a phase,

      b. "What he meant by ‘their quiet expression of attachment’

      c. "I didn't mean to interrupt—


      a. with a breakdown of bone: scapula, clavicle, sternum

      b. with the mechanism that let me dream you alive

      c. with my aversion to hints of faith in horoscopes


      a. she walked naked across the room without asking

      b. she walked naked and without the slightest clue

      c. she walked naked into the other woman’s closet


      a. in light of Tuesday’s unlikely events—

      b. in light of the inconvenient matter of conscience

      c. in light of her own laughter, sweet retrieval


      a. ask her to fill in the blank

      b. ask her to read the display as warning

      c. ask her not to say, not now or ever


      a. despite that, look at how the stitched heart—

      b. because of, look at how the cowering heart—

      c. why never, why ever—what heart—