Peter Goodwin

I Liked the Look of You

My damsel dobson dragon delectable devious fly
I found you, a flavor I thought I knew
something familiar, a diversion I was dying for
to ease my hunger, fill the void within
a toy, a tease, a temptation
fodder for my foibles
a sweet, simple soupcon of a sawfly waiting for a seduction
and we seemed suited to each other
our bodies binding, sliding onto our sweet
surfaces, our legs entwined
finding favor while experiencing intense joy
jamming, joining, a joyful union
united in our joint pleasure
and even when I sensed
your teeth were tougher
your legs longer
your body harder
your mind stronger and more hungry
I did not desist
my pleasure was ecstatic
I did not escape
even when I could
I lusted for your love
even if disastrous—
now I can’t—
I won’t—
how can I curse someone
who loves me with such intensity—
Whom I love—
Whom I—

Table Manners

When she eats pizza at the table, pizza on a china plate, knife and fork ready, her
fingers twitch
When she eats a piece of pizza, she cuts it too big, too big for her small mouth,
which absorbs it bit by bit, like a snake eating a bull frog
When she eats with a knife and fork, she holds the knife and fork inelegantly,
awkwardly, without finesse, as if she has to kill the food before eating it,
eating the food so inefficiently, I get a stomach pain just watching
When she has finished eating, her plate sort of clear, she scatters her knife and
fork haphazardly across the plate, showing no neatness, no respect for the
esthetics of fine dining which probably means that she is crude and
uncultured, probably unworthy
When she eats, I try not to look at her, I avert my eyes, I discuss weighty
philosophical questions, transport my mind to some imaginary paradise,
look out the window, or at the ceiling, concentrate on my own well
nurtured taste buds, and try to forgive her her sins
Try to remind myself that she did not have the benefit of my own good breeding
That she did not have the benefit of long hours surrounded by my excellent
family dedicating time, their precious time, to instructing the wayward me
on proper deportment, sitting with a straight back, speaking properly
without any class defining accent, remembering to only speak when spoken
to, holding the knife and fork at the proper angle, using the right
combination of fingers, holding the instrument loosely but firmly, finishing
everything that is on the plate, knife and fork placed at a neat angle on the
plate, folding the serviette when finished, and always showing a proper
appreciation for the finer aspects of dining
Poor woman, she did not have the benefits of my upbringing, she knows no better
And do I want to spend all that energy on instructing her on proper deportment,
the placement of her utensils, using her hands and fingers and elbows the
way they were designed to be used, to enlarge her cultural enlightenment
Reducing an evolving relationship to a list of rules and regulations
Or should I just accept her, as she is?  As she accepts me, in spite of my many virtues.


peter-goodwinPeter D. Goodwin divides his time between the streets and vibrant clutter of New York City and the remnants of the natural world along Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, discovering in the dislocation of environments and cultures the creative edge where words rekindle their spark.

His poems appear in several anthologies as well as in various journals including Rattle, Memoir(and), River Poets Journal, Delaware Poetry Review, Yellow Medicine Review, Twisted Tongue, Poetry Monthly, Main Street Rag, LockRaven Review, Sliver of Stone,Greensilk Review.

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