tagNon-Erotic PoetryShe had a name but I don't know it

She had a name but I don't know it


She had a name
   but I don't know it
Denise Noe

she had a name
      but I don't know it

though all know her
Potiphar's wife
   the man deceived
      the role betrayed

she studied her mirror
   skin wilted      
      chin sprouting weeds
sagging breasts
   birth-scarred belly
       and a butt as big  
           as a chamber pot

Potiphar's wife
(she had a name
      but I don't know it)
was a woman for whom
   the time of red wine
       had died
no swollen stomach
   no false child

Potiphar's wife
   (she had a name
      but I don't know it)
saw Joseph
   supple skin and      
       hard muscles
felt her private Nile
   warm and moisten,
       then ache
          and flow

Joseph curdled at
   her lust; she was
      Potiphar's wife

Potiphar's wife
   (she had a name
      but I don't know it)
thought Joseph's eyes
   were mirrors
      mean and merciless

did Potiphar thank
   his wife when she
      poured his wine or
         stirred his soup?

did he buy her gifts, thinking:
   she would like this--
      no, this one instead,

did he call her
   by her name?

did he even know it?

Published in "artisan."

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