Saturday 16 May 2020


by Catherine Arra

Nineteen—watching an espionage flick
main spy says to rival spy,
When you know a lie is a lie, you begin to learn the truth.

Twenty-nine—the good wife until
hubby-hunk is cheating. She asks, Is it so?
He says, No, no, no.

Thirty-three—divorced, edging recovery
collides with the letter Mother signed, love
to Father’s best friend. She asks, Is it so?

Mother says, Yes and no. She’ll quit,
do the right thing. A month later Father puddles at her feet.
It wasn’t a fling.

Thirty-five—feeling orphaned and feral
likes sap in trees, honey in her tease
is temptress to a virgin-hood of older men.

Brings one home, unbuttons his hard-on
in her big brassy bed. He asks, Do you love me?
She says, Yes, yes, yes.

Thirty-nine—a spy in her house of tricks
cataloging fictions, footnoting crimes
indexing brevity of truth on overwritten pages.

When you know a lie is a lie, you begin to learn the truth.

* * * * *

"Espionage" is from Catherine Arra's poetry collection (Women in Parentheses) (Kelsay Books, 2019)

Catherine Arra is the author of (Women in Parentheses) (Kelsay Books, 2019), Writing in the Ether (Dos Madres Press, 2018), and three chapbooks. Her poetry and prose have appeared in numerous journals online and in print, and in several anthologies. Forthcoming in 2020 from Finishing Line Press is a new chapbook, Her Landscape, Poems Based on the Life of Mileva Marić Einstein. Arra is a native of the Hudson Valley in upstate New York, where she teaches part-time and facilitates local writing groups. Find her at

1 comment:

  1. "brevity of truth on overwritten pages" Sinatra's voice picks it up from there: "That's, my."