Askold Skalsky





The usual Welsher—thief and liar—

when he took up with that bitch Margaret

in New York, would have left me,

pregnant, I’m sure of it.  Jesus,

I hated him after that.  I’d throw

my sturdy body against his,

and when he toppled like a feeble sack,

sit on his chest, grab his curly hair,

and bang his head against the floor.

Foul scum, I yelled, craven fuck,

and punched him while he jerked about

like a half-dead flatfish frying on a pan

and wiggling its small fin.


I wanted to grind his fat-capped torso into meal,

seeing him squirm between my outspread legs

like my six-month old, that time those butchers

pulled her out of me, without anesthetic, chopping

and pulling until they brought it out in chunks.


He’d faint, though of course I would never finish him off

or kick him in the balls, too precious to a man,

but swig more gin (and that smooth American rye)

and wait until the swine came to.

Then we’d tumble into bed and snore

in each other’s arms, and when we awoke,

go at it like Welsh rabbits twitching in their fur.


One night I ripped up his White Giant’s Thigh,

and flung the pieces out of the boathouse window,

but woke an hour later and, feeling the sacredness

of that creative flame, crept down the mud bank


where the tide hadn’t yet reached, and the scraps

of white lay in the muck like little slivered stars

on the black sky.  I gathered them up

and placed them on the kitchen table in a heap,

and in the morning he just looked

and said nothing.


Copyright © 2003 Askold Skalsky.  All Rights Reserved.

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