Martyr May I

Bring you water, wine or cola, place your dogtrack bet or find
your wallet, needle, haystack? On my day off scrub your football while you
frisbee, polo, breakdance—may I burn the ivory off your ex’s gypsy-
red accordion? Then walk your trained rat, pull your bangs back
when you vomit? Steal your bike back, do a tick check, if you want me
to I’ll turn a new axe handle for you & the roaches! You will never
see their footprints in the sugar if you let me do your taxes, toss the bloody
handkerchief & move your couch up 13 flights, please?—I would pay
to throw magnolias on your threshold every morning in the place where
you will never need a meth hit or mink coat because I’ll change the weather
to your favorite, may I? Resurrect your father, mother, first pet—
I can surgically remove the fishhook from your eyeball if you’ll let me
get the bathwater just right & place the valley just below your picture
window, may I? Bag the body, fry your scrapple, paint your ceiling,
cut your kite down, fill your forms out, wash the powder from your keg
& eat your evidence, or lose at cards without your knowing—if you want me
to I’ll lick the stamp then take the fall & in the end I’ll forge the name
to climb your cross & hang until you recollect me, faint perfume of shame.

Jane Springer

Jane Springer

Jane Springer is the author of Dear Blackbird, Murder Ballad, and Moth. Her work’s been featured in The Best American Poetry and Pushcart anthologies, and she’s received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the MacDowell Artist’s Colony, and the Whiting Foundation. She teaches literature and creative writing at Hamilton College, in upstate New York. (Photo credit: Robin Caudell)
Jane Springer

Latest posts by Jane Springer (see all)

Author: Jane Springer

Jane Springer is the author of Dear Blackbird, Murder Ballad, and Moth. Her work’s been featured in The Best American Poetry and Pushcart anthologies, and she’s received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the MacDowell Artist’s Colony, and the Whiting Foundation. She teaches literature and creative writing at Hamilton College, in upstate New York. (Photo credit: Robin Caudell)