Drink to Our Dreamed-Of
Am I finding what I
need? she wants to know,
asking me with narrowed lips while one
fingers an extracted wisdom tooth (her
suspended from a chain about her swanny neck.
I tell her--the unfortunate truth;
to say I "flip" through the smallpress'd ranks
would be overenergetic exaggeration.
Volume following after spiny volume,
minimalistic calisthenics like
half their eyes cast to next season's
the other half to last season's
while the mere reader, malnourished
must somnambulate through the literary boneyard
and pick his teeth or hers, as case
(Here my young clerical friend quits fiddling
with her bit of ex-grinder ivory.)
Where among these skeletal quarterlies, I ask
waxing Gatsbyish, might we still
that Secret Place Above the Trees?
that fresh green breast of new world
where, sucking in our breath, we may
drink to our dreamed-of capacity and
She, good modest feminist, with bridling
points out a certain lone impression then:
slender like herself and as milkless-seeming,
but concealed within its paperthinness
an orchard at high harvest time—
a vast winecellar, vintage
a brightlit galleryful
each stanza blessed with shapely flesh
its lines; not one abashed by
I glance at my guide; her lips seem not so narrow.
"Something to get your teeth into," says she.
Originally published in Dog
(Parkdale, OR: Trout Creek Press)
Vol. 10, No. 1, Summer 1991
Copyright © 1991, 2004 by P. S. Ehrlich
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