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Revenge Fantasy.


   As I am soft--fearing the many-prismed
   violence of retribution--my thoughts never
   become more than a picture. I once had a
   lover who refused to commit. After a night
   together, I'd scratch around in his mustard
   smell, neglect my friends, and return to the
   dank bed too soon. I couldn't admit he could
   do better and often did: feelings all over my
   face, my body draped in desperation's loose
   robe. As always, spoiling led to avoidance,
   but who did the spoiling? Yes, I indulged
   his whims, but he turned my body to an
   overripe plum. Is here where the sages
   suggest humility, acceptance? I was always
   the libertine, bathing in wine and drama,
   open-mouthed. Now, twenty years after,
   he and I both married to others, my fantasy
   is he simply remain himself. And true
   enough, a Facebook post shows him in
   New York at one in the morning: dim
   lanterns at a Japanese bar, many carafes
   of sake. A pouty blonde seated too close,
   his lit eyes half-mast. Someone unthinking
   has taken the photo, posted it to his page--
   the moldering green of his marriage already
   at the edges. Comeuppance indeed a sticky
   sweet buzz. But self-righteousness is a hard
   little crown to balance, and I close the page.

Liz Robbins's third collection, Freaked, won the 2014 Elixir Press Annual Poetry Award, judged by Bruce Bond; her second collection, Play Button, won the 2010 Cider Press Review Book Award, judged by Patricia Smith. Her poems have recently appeared in American Literary Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Denver Quarterly, Kenyon Review Online, and The Paris-American. She's an associate professor of creative writing at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida.

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Author:Robbins, Liz
Publication:River Styx
Article Type:Poem
Date:Jul 1, 2015
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