How We Live Now by Ruth Danon

I have heard lately, more than once, of men falling out of their beds.
Sometimes they hurt themselves falling out of bed and so resort
to sleeping on the floor.
And I have heard, as well, that the women, living with the men
who fall out of their beds, are forced to sleep alone
Because the force that forces these men to fall out of their beds
is dangerous to the women they sleep with.
I have heard lately, of women eating dinner alone because the men
who fall out of their beds and sleep on the floor
Go to sleep very early and so are not awake when the women
are hungry.
Don’t you think these are strange times? We are wearing our masks
When the women eat alone they become particular. The place setting
just so, the candles lit, one glass of wine, one piece of
Chocolate to end the meal. This is how we live now. This is what
we have come to.

Ruth Danon is the author of three books of poetry—WORD HAS IT (Nirala, 2018), LIMITLESS TINY BOAT (BlazeVOX, 2016), and TRIANGULATION FROM A KNOWN POINT (North Star Line, 1990) and a book of literary criticism, WORK IN THE ENGLISH NOVEL, which was reissued by Routledge in 2020. Her work has been published widely in the US and abroad in publications such as The Paris Review,Tupelo Quarterly, Barrow Street, Versal, and Fence and most recently in 2Horatio and Noon:The Journal of the Short Poem. She has been interviewed in a number of journals including The KenyonReview,Rain Taxi, and Pank. Most recently her work was selected as a finalist in Tupelo Quarterly’s Four Quartets project. Robert Creeley selected one of her poems for inclusion in BEST AMERICAN POETRY 2002. She lives in Beacon, NY and teaches privately, working with students in Beacon, NYC, and across the country. She also teaches at the Marlene Meyerson JCC for New York Writers Workshop. For 23 years she taught creative and expository writing in the program she designed and directed for adult undergraduates at NYU’s School of Professional Studies. She retired from NYU in 2017. After retiring she founded LIVE WRITING: A PROJECT FOR THE READING, WRITING, AND PERFORMANCE OF POETRY and until the pandemic was curator of the Spring Street Reading Series for Atlas Studios in Newburgh, NY.