Perihelion: An Online Journal of Poetry and Mayhem
The Santa Cruz Issue

Lauren Shufran

Cures for Love (II)


I sustained these losses and disfavors at the doors of
          Brigadiers and mistresses, whose latitude and fastness

Loosed the hinges of those doors so that they swung out on my
          Kisser. So I muscled out the dactyls with my esca-

Lating danders and unsheathed these iambs from the sheets of
           Hijacked Latin verse so as to reassert my mannish-

Ness with more emphatic metrics. Okay, I bartered trag-
           Ic buskins for a single comic clog, since it’s common-

Place to ambulate with one lame foot when writing ele-
           Giacs. Now I’ve got the cropper and this pretty filthy sock –

Not to mention that I know where wits of kissers go when kis-
           Sers get to kissing. I abided all this biding at

Insufferable thresholds, and the only war wounds I
          Received were self-inflicted wounds of love, this cloven nose

From closing doors – and chronic PTSD. Your heart’s moved
           By my stigma, but not broken. You’re summoned to my ot-

Toman where I was warned that leisure triggers love and so
           Went hunting to evade uncanny arrows. I ordered

Bridled bulls to bow beneath unwieldy collars and drank
           Bitter juices under stupid udders. I chafed inside

Of duck suits and then surfaced from that nowhere just like eid-
           Erdown and allergies, at cells, before my love had time

For blushing. I thought how Ovid changed his tune to be con-
           Tent with feeding figs to pretty girls in injured verse and

Epic kitchens. I do not hurl invectives at the lin-
           Tel of the DoD, or butter up its hinges or

Get plauditory, cosseting its knocker. It’s not the
           Door’s fault that my love has used the door to bar its entrance,

Or my heart clove with my nose – when lovers slammed it. I made
           My way, for love, through flocks of jalabibs and togas, drown-

Ing habits not conducive to love’s spirit: then dismount-
           Ed with these feathers swelling from it to extend my ten-

Der heart, but the DoD refused to swap a purple
           Heart for one that had been penetrated. You wouldn’t taunt

A camel who’s on crutches with a cloven hoof, but you’d
           Pick on one made sensitive by entrance. Time and turns of

Tune do sometimes sour tender grapes so Ovid sets his teeth
           On edge like Latin damsels and their fathers. Did my love

Commence at boot camp, or the choppy flight, or headlamps where
           I witnessed birds in cross-examinations? Its foot was

On my passive neck; I guzzled up the stuff of it in
           Gulletfuls; I tippled ‘til it trickled down my chin, and

‘Til it tickled in my hinder parts, and hindered hinges
          On the door – and hindered further contestation.