Michelle Peñaloza


With you, always an impossible math.
You brought another couple into our bed—
two’s company and three’s Musketeers.
So, what room did that leave for me?
Because I loved you
I welcomed them and fed them cake.
I declared how very French the whole thing felt.
Until one day, I found my place
reduced to a spot at the foot of the bed.
The takeover: hostile and chockfull of imperialist overtones.
Still, I can’t begin to do the calculations.
You can lead a horse to water, but
how? Am I the water?
If a horse is led to water at 3MPH,
how long after midnight will
the giardia colonize its intestines?
Am I the horse?
The arithmetic of proverbs is all that’s left now:
A penny saved is not much, darling.
Spots cannot change their leopard.
A journey of one step begins with a thousand miles.