Man in a Dog Suit
A small voice like a rivulet told me what sex was and then another voice — an article or
a pamphlet — told me the opposite. I only know ours had something to do with the dog —
his jowls, woof, paws — and a softness that felt close and bottomless, that dwelt in the thud
of the heart’s chambers like the sound of water when it plunges to stone, hits a terminus,
The sex was dark and bottomless like black water that rolls under rapids and swells —
a blackness arrested, stilled rush, disappointing
if you expect the flat surface of sex, the sex of talk and touch. We bark or growl because
we don’t believe in sex or god but need it and him to believe in us — a dog who gives freely
and a god who withholds — a pleasure that can’t apprehend itself the way the dog doesn’t know
what you mean when you say I love you, only a pitch that rises, the way his not knowing bears
an honesty we can never approach, as love received like the end’s continuation, the water wall beyond
the rock, the thing that doesn’t echo back.
women dressing up like women in women’s dressing rooms. women — many women — multiply and divide, wave many woman arms in many mirrors. women’s arms heavy with women’s dresses stitched by women in Bangladesh. women in silk got woman trouble, women cocooned in distress. women threading arms through women’s wear. women shedding skins — synthetic and mammalian, taken up in fibers of micro. women draped in naphthalene. women milling polyester in chilly vuggs of stuff. women joined to the muchness of the voluminous. women swimming mammalian in a sea of textless textile. sexless women humming around pumps and slingbacks texting sexness. women buy one/ women get one. ha-ha women! women rich as women. women looking. women pointing. thirsty women without land or water. women in a hot woman mess. mega-mega-women. women without land rights or songs of acquisition. women dialing up women on the women’s hotline, yarning a mythomoteur of women. women stitching a women’s genus, threading her species through no-woman’s land. women charged up in electrostatic muchness, charging it to charge cards. women in charge of nothing, charged with the soft crime of being women.
Jules Gibbs is the author of the book of poems, Bliss Crisis (The Sheep Meadow Press), and the chapbook, The Bulk of the Mailable Universe (Dancing Girl Press.) She lives in Syracuse, NY, where she teaches literature and creative writing at Syracuse University. She also serves as the poetry editor for the national political magazine, The Progressive, as well as for Punto de Contacto Gallery, where she runs an annual journal and reading series.