How to Love a Cop
Don’t ask him how his day went.
Hold the words inside you.
Let them flutter in your throat.
Hope their wings show in your eyes.
He will tell you if he wants to.
Never complain that you are tired.
When his body rolls away from yours
and the mattress sighs,
remember he would stay with you if he could.
When he refuses to try the food you make
laugh it off and instead remember
how on the first night together
he curled around you like a leaf in autumn.
Avoid conversations about gun rights.
He doesn’t need to know
you have considered
how easily he could kill you.
when he stays with his girlfriend
because he doesn’t have the time to move out.
Shrug off your old self like a winter coat.
Hang it at the back of the closet
where you are least likely to encounter it
and scare yourself.
Ugly Things that Deserve Beautiful Poetry
Dogs with under-bites, scars, divorce, flat tyres, Christmas sweaters, scoliosis, stretch marks, six lane highways, road kill, smudged mascara after sex, pollution, your friend’s kids, slugs, flaccid penises, the grey gloom when snow becomes slush, childhood toys worn down to mesh beneath patchy polystyrene fur, placentas, mom jeans, Steve Buscemi, goatees, the ornaments on your grandma’s mantelpiece, bed hair, the debris at the bottom of a woman’s purse, ex-boyfriends, broken noses, the melted photos in the ash after a house fire, braces, sinewy necks, calloused hands and un-uniform toes, squid, knees past the age of forty, cancer, bad sonnets, and fingers hacked off at the knuckle.