An Example of a Desired Thing

She carves a peach, snip, slop, and darting
between the blushing flesh.
Clicks her teeth- enamel knit one, pearl two.
Age always knows Just What To Do.
“Don’t take a lover
You cannot win
for entry tolls a pound of skin

for you know well that
you are fair
and fairly well that
fire trumps air and O! the
comma in your cheek
that flashes when your smile is weak
he’ll stare o!lucifer,
he’ll stare!
at your nordic blood-won silver hair
while the fine skin of your wrist beats thin
beneath the hands and words he’ll spin
and string together like
milky pearls
a talis Man!
No other girl!"

Between your
fingers, minutes sluice
And hours will bleed in days
of juice
But time -
that age-old ill fit shoe will dull the
virgin gleam of you
And polish, polish though you may
The freshly minted
Never stay.

Now days and days and
nights are spread
Like eager whore on paying bed
A languor there
You never knew
(for time may play these tricks on you)
What right have you
To hold a man?
How bold to think
You even can.
You’re wee(a)k-old fruit
Not honeyed muse
Don’t take a lover
Don’t take a bruise.

Emma Goodsell

If you have any comments on this poem, Emma Goodsell  would be pleased to hear from you.