Zoë Sturges, After After Tandem, 2017
Screen print, acrylic, and crayon on wood

The honeymooners exchange
blenders, dinner parties, brilliant flatware.
They want our blessings, our shoes
removed at the door.  
In the foyer, they’ve collected
their smoke detectors, a box of incessant
beeping. It’s a shame,
really—Jenny has been eating
the batteries. We all want
what Jenny wants, but a little
less passionately. The dogs bark
from the living room. There are four dogs.
Forty dogs. Dogs for everyone. Because everyone
needs a best friend, John has
strung up the leashes from the ceiling fan,
so when we flick on the lights—a fun and sadistic
tilt-a-whirl. It’s a potluck: we bring
what we can. Sure, the soufflé is imperfect
but so is Jenny’s alligator handbag.
In conversation, we have little time
for each other. Your hand creeps down
my back and I eye the lamb while Jenny
reads us baby names from
The Omnivore’s Dilemma and John grinds
his pelvis near the gramophone. We sit.
We rise. We sit. We sit. Then
the evening’s big announcement:
the daffodils have started to bloom
and they’re just a little early, but look—
what a beautiful arrangement.


Margaret Cipriano