Rodney Dangerfield’s Ex Writes Him a Letter by Kendra DeColo

“I tell ya, my wife likes to talk during sex. Last night, she called me from a motel.”- Rodney Dangerfield

How I fell in love with you: your eyes
wild as the moon, pocked and studded

with heaven. I liked to suck
smoke from your mouth. It tasted

sharp as a field of onions. Spaetzle.
The inside of a boot. I was happy

to be the bad cook, slut, fat lady
giving directions to her body

as if I were notes spilled through
a giant horn, conjured from your lips

like a dark feast. I remember that night
how your voice swung disembodied

as shoes from a telephone wire
when I called to tell you I’d just

made love at the drive-in. We watched
Easy Money and wrecked the insides

of one another, tussling in the sweaty
weather of your image, his fist

a star breaking inside my liver.
I became a telephone booth, open

as an observatory for watching
galaxies huff like horses. Your voice

was lost and everywhere.
Most of all I knew I did not

want my body back. I tell you
and already hear it aching

inside a joke. Don’t think I ever
wanted more than this.


Kendra DeColo is the author of Thieves in the Afterlife (Saturnalia Books, 2014), selected by Yusef Komunyakaa for the 2013 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. She has received fellowships from the Tennessee Arts Commission, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.