Susan Terris

You Do Not Know Me

I was Maria Boursin     then Marthe
de Méligny or Minette Renard

Once a fleuriste of paper flowers
Now Madame Bonnard     Pierre's wife

His bourgeois world maligns
Says I'm crazed     never leave my tub

Says I'm a lowlife     a psychotic
Who makes hell for Pierre

Yet a thousand times     he paints
My tubbed breasts     my dark nest

His own possession     belle laide
Over     under     in     out     but am I

Loved     well aren't those wall tiles
Brighter     more alive than me



Susan Terris’ recent books are Familiar Tense (Marsh Hawk) 2019; Take Two: Film Studies (Omnidawn) 2017, Memos (Omnidawn) 2015; and Ghost of Yesterday: New & Selected Poems (Marsh Hawk) 2012. She's the author of 7 books of poetry, 17 chapbooks, 3 artist's books, and 2 plays. Journals include The Southern Review, Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, Denver Quarterly, Diode, Blackbird, and Ploughshares. A poem of hers appeared in Pushcart Prize XXXI. A poem from Memos was in Best American Poetry 2015. Her newest book is Dream Fragments, which won the 2019 Swan Scythe Press Award. Ms. Terris is editor emerita of Spillway Magazine and a poetry editor at Pedestal.