by Amanda Williams

Let the longing slip 
down the throat, 
tipped down into 
that poisoned well.
Titillate, let the tuft 
and trail run over
the mouth, under. 
We rear, and someone 
is ragged at the door, 
lisping the dust
from beneath the slot, 
the frame, the dirt, hark.
Kick and tickle, 
that I might be warmed 
and the seed may take, 
dandle, dawdle, dip it 
from my pool of secrets, 
metal ladle, lick the rust.
Can this be 
the right address, 
this ticking old fence, 
this leaning rocker, 
this dark and dismal?
Declare that I am of it, 
and I’ll go in.  
Acutiator, will you whet 
my lips on your stone 
when I am dulled, 
when the battlefield’s 
gone cold? Accept this, 
your office, trumpet, 
hack, sharpen.
Protect me, hound, 
helper, hand-holder; 
the disease of virgins 
creeps in the blood,
and the bunting is hung. 
I am riddled with field-rows, 
plowed by your fingers— 
promise, pluck.