Elastic Love Contrapuntal

“The subject of lesbianism is very ordinary;”
            — Judy Grahn

in darkness of March’s midnight          she is eyes:
            moon rays rebound lake ripples to eggplant purple walls
your hands find her body         face lies upturned, opened
            smaller than weeks prior. She knows you prefer protruding hip bones,
feels hungered for by you,       not memory of the boy, her brother 
diaphragms guttural groan,      cold in body bag not on pleated comforter,
            you’ve described your favorite body your type as “heroin skinny” 
she knows you like the ripples of her torso but            before you knew her brother  
also concave trajectory to pelvis bones            as drug addict,
            loving you is an argument with the impossible.


Copyright © 2023 by Sarah Cooper. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 4, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“This poem is a weaving of memory: sex with a person who loves the speaker’s body because it is idealized through thinness, and the speaker remembering her dead brother. These narratives become entangled for the speaker as they both leave her feeling that these kinds of memories and love are ‘an argument with the impossible.’ A contrapuntal form allowed me to intertwine distinct losses that result in a similar feeling.”
Sarah Cooper