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Prairie Schooner 78.1 (2004) 179-182
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"Sexual" he said
"... meaning, I feel
them here." We were looking at peonies again,
their swollen heads almost glib with pink-
a lustrous, Spanish sort of finish.
(A netted ballgown, an antique, dusty
kiss.) I could feel myself
beginning to object. Becoming
objectionable, & yet
you get so tired
of your own conjugations, your Freudian luggage
multiplying in its sleep.
He was just admiring their fullness &
in a parallel country, a woman wanted
a man like he was breath.
It was everywhere around us. The world
& who was I to disobey this tidal hint? [End Page 179]
I welcome you with my hands
(that end in orchids)
I welcome you with my skin
(not so) (exotic)
(much like your wife's)
(nightgown) (of shadows)
I welcome you with my skirts
(small animals live)
I welcome you with my breasts
I welcome you with my eyes
(the left one)
(the right one)
(mute) [End Page 180]
What a beautiful way to keep you out-
At the center of a maze, a tight white flower
imagined herself into being,
as though it were a profession, no, a curse.
Tonight's moon is all disguise, a stagger of white.
Small wonder that we were in love
with her gauzy arrival...
(But the sum of her parts was such a brutal equation.)
Couldn't you take a part at a time, the derisive
left earlobe, the trail
that hot left behind? I
spell the woman who time left by, I've been spelling
her nightly. Hers is the scalp, shorn
or luscious. I'd like to describe
the lilt of her chin,
but the woman, the woman won't lilt. [End Page 181]
Call me crazy, I like
what time does, a slow warming trend
that moves through the East,
our pasts becoming child brides,
(small & utter)
Louise Mathias's work has been published Boulevard, Epoch, Quarterly West, The Journal, and Meridian.