Elegy in a City Bedroom

The curling iron cooling by the sink,
The slow-congealing cup of milky tea,
The towels strewn, the nightie's lingering slink
Across the bed, are left alone with me.

Now fades the echoing clatter down the stair,
The engine's starting roar, the eager chirp
Of off-to-work departure with the blare
Of angry horn at some unyielding twerp.

Perhaps before these bedclothes might have seen
Such like of love as here last night was made;
Perhaps it was as nothing to the scene
Some future night is waiting to see played.

Full many a scene of orgiastic sweat
The dark and filmless caves of memory bear:
Full many a flower receives its spurting jet
And blooms itself beyond the camera's glare.

Far from the madding crowd's ignoble stare
This private Lovelace lived, and learned to stray
Among Egyptian cotton sheets, and share
Her body's spasms with their bodies’ spray.

She lets no memory of the well-endowed
The homely joys of smaller men un-sport;
For her no grandeur ever disallowed
The simple, moving annals of the short.

Their names, their years, are not important now,
Nor who did what nor when nor with which toy;
They blur and sharpen into one long wow
With memories of their faces filled with joy

Who'd have an awkward virgin's fumbled tries
To please? What bests a woman fully grown
Who knows her wants, and wants to know her guy's,
Who melancholy missed, and left alone?

We’ll have no dismal moralizing scene -
No need for hugging, nor for lessons learned.
I’m off to work as well. The maids will clean
And all will be pristine when we’ve returned.

Though elegies have led us to suppose
The in becomes the out, the even odd,
A truth abides when off have come the clothes,
And arching bodies cry “Oh God! Oh God!”

Marcus Bales

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