The Wives of the Dictators

the wives of the dictators
do not sit home and embroider
nor do they answer
when their husbands return
in full uniform
from a kill
and ask
and what have you been doing?

I have been doing
the secret things
that witches do

they are busy
cutting ribbons
washing their hands

they are lonely
the dictators love nothing as well
as they love their killing
are nothing but the terror they make
and the terror they feel

the dictators
go into training for their kills
and are not seen for weeks

and what do the wives
of the dictators do
while their husbands are gone?

rattle inside their chambers
like marbles in a maze
wander the patios and rose gardens
plot their revenges
have their lovers
brought in
on golden trays

and what if during their lunar rages
the wives of the dictators wish
to have the dictators' mistresses killed?

why then they do it
outside their windows
and swing in their hammocks
to the beat of the screams

they are jealous of their very love
for the dictators
they long to be rammed
by the dictators
they long to fill the hollow
where their ovaries float
like planets

nothing fills them

sometimes when the dictators sleep
the wives whisper meanings into their ears

sometimes they take their plunder to the beach

sometimes when the dictators die
they become dictatoresses
they take the dictators
into the middles at last
coiled like snakes