“On Coming Home” by Lisa Summe

Lisa Summe


Domesticity is of all our pets together
in one room. Plus me in my plaid pajama pants
and you in no pants. Some people take off their shoes
when they walk in the door, but you,
the first thing you do is take off your pants
because to you, pants = work, and you are home.
There’s cat litter stuck to your feet,
there are my dirty socks on the floor
again, and there’s the floor mat
our guests rarely wipe their feet on.
So the cats scratch it up. So the dog naps there.
There’s a time where your mom doesn’t knock
on our door for Sunday breakfast again,
a time where your sister tells you to please stop talking
about anything related to sex. I want to fit in
with the women in your family,
but I am too reliable. You can count on me,
darling, to wink at you from across the bar
ten years from now. What if every time was like
the first time? By which I mean our lovemaking brings us
to tears in a stranger’s bedroom and we don’t know
when we’ll see each other again, don’t know
what the moon will shine like when it’s been cloudy
for weeks. Just know that I am a garden of boomerangs.
And Ingrid Michaelson is singing all the while.
I listened to that song again where the girl can’t help
falling in love, as a reminder that television
is not a stand-in for affection and neither is
the bowl of cereal one of us silently pours the other.
We crave surprises. Once I mailed you a postcard
from the mailbox down the street, which is to say
my gratitude is the longest day of the year.
Summer solstice is the way your body shines,
which is how my mouth says I was here.
I make you promises, but I don’t
say them out loud. We both know marriage
is overrated. Instead, matching heart tattoos
on our pointer fingers. Instead, a six-pack
of Sierra Nevada in the fridge,
a homemade pizza. So much of love
is consumption. So much of my appetite
is bottomless. I’ve been running.
And, for once, it isn’t away.

from Rattle #51, Spring 2016
Tribute to Feminist Poets


Lisa Summe: “I am a feminist poet because I am a woman who loves women. My autobiographical poems, while often celebratory, also explore the challenges that come with identifying as a lesbian: homophobia, familial rejection, appearance norms, etc.” (web)

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