(The Sensitive Male Chapter)
Awkward and dry is love.
A moist kiss simmers as cherry pie.
A peck reddens into poppy.
Several feed like birds in your hands.
The first kiss carries history. The customary roses,
a bouquet received by two.
On the right side of her mouth, she is your mother.
On the left side, she's the sister you never had.
If delicate yet firm, a kiss can resuscitate the drowned Ophelia;
hurried and open-mouthed, moths flutter out of her body.
A kiss that glides smoothly possesses the pleasant lightness of tea.
If it smudges, prepare yourself for children.
A kiss that roams the curving of the lips,
the tongue still tracing the slopes even
without her near is a poet's muse.
When bitten on the lower lip—I am your peach—
if she’s left there biting, dangling, she'll burn the tree.
When she's sucking your lips as if through a straw
she wants you in her.
Never quite touching, sky and earth bridged
by clouds of breath, speak in recitation:
Because I am the ocean in which she cannot swim,
my lover turned into the sea.
Or cradle her in the cushions of your lips,
let her sleep in the pink.
From Threshold (CavanKerry Press, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by Joseph O. Legaspi. Used with the permission of the author.
Maru Mori brought me
which she knitted herself
with her sheepherder’s hands,
two socks as soft
I slipped my feet
as though into
with threads of
my feet were
two fish made
two long sharks
by one golden thread,
two immense blackbirds,
in this way
for the first time
my feet seemed to me
like two decrepit
of that woven
of those glowing
the sharp temptation
to save them somewhere
as learned men
the mad impulse
to put them
into a golden
and each day give them
and pieces of pink melon.
in the jungle who hand
over the very rare
to the spit
and eat it
I stretched out
and pulled on
and then my shoes.
of my ode is this:
beauty is twice
and what is good is doubly
when it is a matter of two socks
made of wool
"Ode to My Socks" from Neruda & Vallejo: Selected Poems, by Pablo Neruda and translated by Robert Bly (Boston: Beacon Press, 1993). Used with permission of Robert Bly.