Marilyn L. Taylor


Studying the Menu

Speaking of all those things you’ll never eat,
my love—could one of them, in fact, be crow?
Of course it could. But you already know
how poisonous it tastes (if bittersweet).
These days you’re craving quite another treat:
the one who will replace me. But that sloe-
eyed, slack-jawed creature’s surely going to show
you all the nuance of a bitch in heat.

I hope she has the brains of a retriever,
the glamour of an aging manatee,
the refinement of a Packers wide receiver
and finds her favorite books at Dollar Tree.
—And darling, may she be a born deceiver,
and do to you what you have done to me.

(first published in the Alabama Literary Review)


Marilyn L. Taylor, former Poet Laureate of Wisconsin (2009 and 2010) and of the city of Milwaukee (2004 and 2005), is the author of six collections of poetry. Her award-winning poems and essays have appeared in many anthologies and journals, including Poetry, The American Scholar, Able Muse, Measure, Ted Kooser’s “American Life in Poetry” column, and the recent Random House anthology Villanelles. Marilyn taught for 15 years at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and also served for five years as Contributing Editor and regular poetry columnist for The Writer magazine. She is a member of the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission and the Council for Wisconsin Writers Board of Directors. She recently moved from Milwaukee to Madison, where she continues to write and teach.