Ian Randall Wilson

A Vetch In Other Words

In our first few days
of being together
we decide to use the words "raw sugar"
in place of love.
But when she says, I raw sugar you,
at the end of the first week,
I am more surprised
than a dog who wakes to find himself flying.
Because I don't believe in raw sugar this soon,
have never used raw sugar
to get a girl to go to bed with me.
Well, maybe once.

Then one day she says,
Bird my ass,
maybe angry or trying to be cute,
but I'm willing.
I want you to meet the Pharaoh, I say,
and she says, No thumb trips,
not just yet, maybe next cattle.
We stop taking our coffee sweet.
Leather me, she screams,
and we are leathering on the table,
on the floor, knocking
over bottles full of light.

Finally we go to my thumb,
and believe me it's a long trip by train.
She wears her best dresses
and smiles all the time.
But raw sugar for me
and so much leather
won't get you the Pharaoh's approval.
No matter how much cattle
you come by, how many birds
you press upon the throat,
we can feel something slipping off,
like a thread from a coat.


Ian Randall Wilson is a contributing editor to the poetry journal 88. Recent poetry has appeared in the Spinning Jenny, Spork and The Alaska Quarterly Review. His first collection, Hunger and Other Stories, was published by Hollyridge Press.