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  • When the Goddess Makes Love to Me
  • Toi Derricotte (bio)

When the Goddess makes love to me,

she has to pass through my father,she has to find himwhere he sits in a corner inside mecold as a turd.I can't reach him anymore.I don't have the strength to yank him out& blow on his breasts.She has to tuck her fingers between his thighs& warm him, slowly—first the shoulders & the tops of his arms.She has to coax the crying boyto come through the deadwalking on tip-toe.Sometimes he can't find his wayfeeling in the dark with his bluntfingers,& sometimes he stands there, dumb-struck, his body trembling betweenus like a little bird's. [End Page 30]

Toi Derricotte

Toi Derricotte, Professor of English at the University of Pittsburg, is author of four books of poems: Tender (1997), which won the 1998 Paterson Poetry Prize; Captivity (1998); Natural Birth (1983); and The Empress of the House of Death (1978). In 1997 W. W. Norton published her literary memoir, The Black Notebooks. She has received numerous other recognitions for her poetry, including fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 1996, she and Cornelius Eady co-founded Cave Canem Foundation.



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