For Louise Bogan
“Women have no wilderness in them.”
Really? Not to bore you,
But I have jungles, forests, steaming swamps…
Here’s a tiger for you.
Why did the bread refuse to bake?
Why do I have this lingering cough?
Why did my headset have to break?
Why do I wear the letters off
My keyboard after just two months?
Why is it so damned hard to find
The cat? What about love, just once?
Why do I lose? Why do I mind?
Where did the money go, I ask,
And Echo answers blithely “Where?”
Why am I talking through a mask?
We’re blowing up. Why do I care?
Some Christian Rulers
Against what seemed enormous odds,
You raised the church and sank the gods.
Therefore we hope your soul may thrive,
Although you boiled your wife alive.
King of the Franks
King Clovis frightened everyone.
He sacked and murdered just for fun.
But when the Church had tamed his pride,
He sacked and killed the other side.
Empress Irene of Byzantium
To guard the Church’s feasts and fasts
And save us from iconoclasts,
The Empress had her own son blinded—
Tough on him, but no one minded.