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This is Jacket 16, March 2002   |   # 16  Contents   |   Homepage   |  Catalog   |    

Rebecca Lu Kiernan

Math in Leon County

I am the heart’s lusty whore
Writhing in black fishnet stockings
Back arched, lips parted, feet twitching
Behind your neck, and if that doesn’t
Do you, I’ll spread out on my knees
Opening in curious new ways.
You are the heart’s nervous litigator
Dragging me to the witness stand
Hands at my throat, barking inquiry
Finding holes in my story
Stopping just short of clamping a car
Battery to my genitals.
And what stops you there?
Perhaps the chance that we pass in the
Courthouse, somewhere between the
Marriage license and the prisoner
Torture, and I adjust your lemon tie
And you tell me my slip is showing
And there is a moment over hazelnut
Coffee, a polite challenge requiring a
Percentage answer and I won’t go
Above one hundred because
My tongue takes your temperature, my
Fingers calculate your blood pressure,
I watch your chest for rate of respiration
And this is a day of you needing the
Comfort of logical math
So one hundred percent is the answer
As I let you underestimate
The strength of my surrender,
The zeal with which I would have
Bowed to you.

Rebecca Lu Kiernan

Rebecca Lu Kiernan is the editor of the print journal, Gecko. Her fiction has appeared in MS. Magazine, Southern Ocean Review, Naked Poetry, Exquisite Corpse, Gargoyle, and others, and is upcoming in Asimov's Science Fiction and North American Review. Her collection of poetry, Sex With Trees And Other Things Equally Responsive was released from 2River Press and can be viewed at

Jacket 16 — March 2002  Contents page
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