Watching Secretary, I Think of the Palm of Your Hand

My favorite part of Secretary is when E. Edward Grey
(James Spader) is spanking Lee Holloway (Maggie
Gyllenhaal), his secretary, as she is bent at the waist
over his desk, her skirt raised and her panties
down, reading a memo she has typed for him. But
it isn’t the spanking—it’s after, when, spent, he collapses
over her, and her pinky slightly, just slightly, grazes
his thumb. It’s that single, fast moment— he isn’t
hurting her. He loves her, and she loves him, too.

The first time I asked you to strike me you looked
stricken yourself, and you said It is not in my nature
to hurt you. But you were hard under my palm and
you obliged me, anyway. The red of your fingers
on my cheek faded under your gentle mouth. In
these matters there is a level of reciprocity. Once,
you panicked at your missing ring, and when you recalled
where it was—that Airbnb counter, near the sink,
where you threw it before leaving welts on my

ass, not wanting to hurt me too badly under
the heavy platinum width of it— you reddened
and coughed and I laughed. A secret moment
between us. Command me, husband— tell me
to sit at your desk and I will not move until you have
come to recuse me. Marry me again and I will
let you have me against the rough bark of
these California palms. Bleed me so you can
wash my skin and hair of our love. I am

very fond of you, as well, Mr. Grey says quietly,
afraid of Lee’s intensity, afraid of what
her love means. But he gathers her up
as you have gathered me up time and time
again. We could live forever like this: you,
off to work, and me, ever waiting for you.
And husband, I will say:
I am very fond of you, as well; I am
very fond of you, indeed.


During Marwencol, I Play with Your Hair

I am big spoon and your blond hair
is sorghum between my thumb and index
and, on the screen, Mark is saying that
before his injury he was an alcoholic
and now, after, he is not one. What
hard wires us, I wonder? What makes us
ourselves, what part of the soul is the thing
that defines us? If something erased us,
would I be here with you, stroking your hair,
would I be thinking please turn around and kiss me?
Would you be bold enough to?

In his backyard, Mark creates a world. It is
perfect, a small scale fantasy to triumph
over what he has lost, and what he can’t have.
I twist your curls around my fingers but you
still end up in bed alone. What parts of me
will I have to erase before you notice the world
I hold for us inside of me? What do I have
to create for you to live inside that world,


Kolleen Carney-Hoepfner is the Editor-In-Chief for Drunk Monkeys and the Managing Editor for Zoetic Press. She has an MFA in poetry which, I mean, come on. All she does is eat pasta, drink vodka, and watch Vanderpump Rules. She lives in Burbank, CA, tweets @KolleenCarney, and blogs…poorly… at