Issue 150, Spring 1999
after St. Anne of Weston, who celebrated her uterus
My internist said you are unnaturally large.
Had I caught gonorrhea from some co-ed?
(In my encyclopedia, you come right between
prosody and prostitution, just before
prosthesis. Alphabetization makes
strange bedfellows.) Once chestnut-size,
you’ve expanded, he said, into a tennis ball.
I told him no score, no love, but I was
urinating with uncommon frequency:
You are like an unruly child—a real pisser.
You are like a porn star—the great climax
a golden shower. Well, not always a shower—
sometimes you just peter out, dribbles
and drabs. It began when I found blood
in my semen, red curled into white
like a viscous Christmas candy-cane.
It whirled down the drain like blood
in Hitchcock’s Psycho. I told the doctor
I thought you’d given me cancer. Prostate.
(For men of a certain age. Prostate Cancer
is all the rage. I have pals who’ve had
an orchidectomy—such a flowery name
for such a final and hideous disfigurement,
testicles snipped away like a blossom.
I have a fifty-something friend who,
when asked, “Do you wear Jockey shorts
or Boxers?”, grimaced and replied, “Depends.”)
So I was sure I had the big C. “Does it
burn when you urinate?” “Never.” “Do you
have trouble getting it up?” “No, my problem
is getting it down.” The doctor lectured,
“Whenever you hear the sound of hooves,
the chances are it’s just horses.
“But if you’re determined to hear a zebra,
or even a unicorn, go ahead. Be my guest.”
So I thought just horses. Until I began