Oyster Boy Review 07  
  September 1997
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» Levee 67


Though Sick of all the Men Poking and Prodding, Marilyn Yawns under Roots and Old Hair and Bottles

Lyn Lifshin

33 years of lying under the earth with her
legs and mouth open as long as Jesus lived
she smirks. "I never expected I could be
horizontal and not have a thousand hips

and pricks bruising my bones." This is the
rest I needed but sometimes it's a little
lonely. A Siamese twin could have danced
with me, gone out to eat. I never thought

I'd miss those fleshy rockets there always
seemed too many of, hard little buggers
nuzzling when I was trying to learn lines
or sleep, flesh roots that could tear a hole

in old gauzy silk, made me late
for the studio, often seemed like a growth
suddenly there, a roach, something to tame. So
many days she felt like wood men pecked

holes in, just taking what she had and leaving
her empty. Now I've time, it wouldn't be
so bad maybe. And I've always wanted a daughter,
a me who wouldn't feel so alone. She hears the

crickets, feels the stars move in between her legs.
A finger nail moon. Dark blue moves closer, as if
there was somebody there as close as her hair and
then she feels something, not something in the earth,

but a lily, a bulb sprouting up between her lips
down there. She thinks of yuccas that take a
hundred years to bloom, of men who are half horses,
never supposed she could grow her own penis that wouldn't

tear her up or make her sore, shove its way in
and then betray her, but something as much her as
her heart was taking her out of herself the way
dreams do, taking her breath and plunging

and opening, slowly, not in any rush as underground
streams lulled. It was as if they were two but in the
same body, a cliche poets wrote about, loving that
never was like in the movies. She put on makeup

and wigs but usually just got a bladder
infection or felt so pounded and raw she couldn't sleep.
This is better than a whole man who washes up like a
beached whale, flattens and squashes. "I'm a little

stiff," she whispers to it, "but I'd like to kiss your eye,
your head and with a little practice there is no end
to where we could go," she grins, "and this is as
safe as it gets."