Poems by Robin Becker


Late Butch-Femme

With Two Camels and One Donkey


Late Butch-Femme

Long accustomed to playing the butch
I saw you for the femme I thought you were—
long waisted, well bred, the hostess who knew
to fold the napkin in the wineglass. But I had not
watched you square your shoulders before the arborist,
determined to take down the holly to save the oak.

No, you said, the pin oak goes, the holly stays.
The gutter man who wants his check will have
to repair the drain he botched. Please have your son
call me,
you say, your fingers ready for another call.
In the cellar, among the foraged dressers, you measure
and sand and strip. Come up for the lunch I made you,
O handy lover, with your retractable blade,
your small drill, your paint brushes bristling.


From DOMAIN OF PERFECT AFFECTION (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006)