Rick Bursky

This Is Yours


I’m the most famous fabulist in a family of famous fabulists.
This was one of the things she liked most about me.
Instead of flowers I gave her a bouquet of full moons.
It was winter. We had sex still wearing our clothes
right there on the floor and pretended
we were in a snow globe.
I was flattered when she asked me
to take our wedding vows connected to a polygraph.
The things I liked most about her
was that she talked in her sleep,
wore necklaces made of thorns
draped across her breasts each night
and we bled together.
What sort of relationship can you build on that?
Think Antony and Cleopatra, Hitler and Eva; oh,
I know what I’m talking about.
Who did Helen of Troy really love?
Who did she think of when she squeezed
her eyes and curled her toes?
You can tell this story
as if it were yours, even change the names
if you want, or call out mine.

Rick Bursky’s poems have appeared in many journals and his most recent book, I’m No Longer Troubled by the Extravagance, is out this fall from BOA Editions.