O Like a Fire That Flickers for the Fairer Sex


I think of women on
Hot extravagant afternoons
Words from the Earth, my little bread
The water of centuries picked clean
I let the red ink of these prerequisite passages

Settle in me, their earthy wisdom
Like a masseur’s warm open hand
Their expert flirtation of
Psychology and innate fastidious ‘performance’
I think of women on

Cool nights that restore my pulse
I listen to them too much
To hasten to their self-same torments
I’ve heard all of their complaints
On the tipsy tip-toes of poetry

I did nothing to provoke them
My goldenrod of spilled yellow friendship
I am a living animal, in their presence
An outlawed sign-language of my desire
They read on their unmenacing lips

A sour frantic belonging of their value
I think of women on
Mornings of the shrewdest plans
They are instrumental to my cathedral-abundance
I’ve become too good at giving & giving-in

And now a most savage dog
I think of women on the way here, or there
After-hours rain downs my familiarity
I think of women like naming the planets
Pirates of my soul’s bleeding kisses

Whimper, silly, hush, flood, hot-flashed
I think of women and their sweet roar
Sweat, push, pull, sign, moan, hush.