No with a sigh, pleading, flung out with arms
No with weeping and giant tears on her lashes,
her hands tight and tangled in her tangled hair.
Broken no of exhaustion; silent no of betrayal—
As I hold her for the doctor, a limp no
followed by moaning. No to the blue pants, the corduroys,
the sweet flowered boots, to waffles and 32 oz. of milk.
No panties. Not ever. I never, never, ever
panties. Testing no and its new partner,
Stop. From the back seat please stop.
No white food! No green! But then
No to the tune of “Happy Birthday to You.” No,
I’m not kidding. Sing along, I know you can:
NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NOOOOO
as she runs laughing and naked down the hall.