Table of Men

Ama Codjoe
Facebook icon Share via Facebook Twitter icon Share via Twitter

What I want from you has little

to do with sex, though it, like wine

and bread, rests on the table between us:

the curse that escapes your craned

neck; the way you turn away in bed, 

your tongue an animal; and all

the exchanges of power and light.

Nothing of the lies we tell with silence

or the creaking we make as bent pines.

I want the open air of quiet: assured, 

azure, birdless—and knowledge 

earned from attention.

I’m not your mother, mistress, concubine, 

or slave. I want to dine with men 

whose kindness hasn’t been beaten out, or 

who’ve called it back like the One Lost Thing.

Whose humiliations beget the softening 

of eyes. I want to be surprised.

All my life, I’ve studied you—a matter

of survival. I want not to know you 

so well. Here at this table is tenderness,

broken so we might share it.

More Reads

What Were You Waiting For

It was a spectacular spring: sparrows bickering in the trees, the street carts smelling of syrupy cashews in front of the Jewish Museum— you bought flowers, said Hi to ...


Too Much and Therefore Nothing

The plot’s restless. Newness grown stiff from disuse. To believe to have lived through the end of something and still to remain in that tight ruse of ...


Love and Death Speaking at Once

We come together.  To love someone means to imagine their death.  2 a.m. and you lie awake in fear of us. What if? What if? Call your mother. Say you’re ...