You are the moany mama of lust, growly mama,
             the groany matriarch of desire.  

Sweat sultrying slut of lust, bawling bitch of lasciviousness, you are. 
             Girdle full of hurt, thong full of wrong, 

your bust is all honks and tonking.
             I will never fault America for loving you too much

or too little, nor do I blame the chickie ranches
             or bunny mansions of Beverly Hills. 

I have no reason to be green. Who could blame
             the purple cheetah or Day-Glo zebra in the you-toned lingerie?

No red-light, nighty-night pucker, no prepubescent drag, 
             I will not blame showgirls, working girls, 

or mean girls, nor gossip girls, dirty girls, nor the little girl
             who lives down the lane. And certainly not the golden girls, no,

they are not to blame. 
             You drink cosmos, drain cartoon bottles of real wine

until again your heart bursts so open
             you blow your neighbor’s husband

and dream of her teenaged son, 
             which is what Carmel, Indiana, looks like 

long after midnight, 
             your eyes pressed into the ecru of a monogrammed guest towel. 


Cindy E. King’s work has appeared in Callaloo, North American Review, River Styx, Black Warrior Review, American Literary Review, jubilat, Barrow Street, African American Review, and elsewhere. Her poems can also be heard at,, and She has received a Tennessee Williams Scholarship to attend the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the Agha Shahid Ali Scholarship in Poetry from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, she currently lives in Texas, where she is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas at Dallas.