The Plastic Surgeon’s Wife
She knows he’s watching her again,
pictures pulling patches of skin
into and out of place. In dreams,
he’s wearing his white coat and stethoscope
while he sharpens knives,
oils the joint in his scissors, practices
with a black felt-tip on velvet.
Each person he meets is blank canvas—
the women, old and young,
with their sagging need, the pleading
that pools in their eyes
and the men too – the lift and tuck,
the marvel of stretch and sew.
She wonders, did his mother show him
how to bring thread to needle
and not needle to thread? And the knots
his father taught him never seem to fail.
These days, he paints in stitches
that dissolve into black and blue
eyelashes, remaking bruised egos.
When they make love, she fears
how he’d like to improve her—
a little lift here, a little tighter there,
fill her breasts with vanilla,
admire the suction in her soul—
his reservoir, never full.