Incident At The College Library

Deferring to those who would immerse us
(by pure persuasion, but not to coerce us)

into a set of less descriptive verses:
I saw another student, in the basement, reading
(and, as while this small poem is proceeding,
I nod to those who might take offense

in the present, and soon past, tense;

the skirting is sure, nor will I snag the crepe).

But to the substance the poem is meant to share:
I will not describe the reader's shape
or whether her feet, at leisure, were bare;
those impression you can already guess

(in this poem only, more is treated less).

But am I permitted to mention the rush

of color on her cheeks in a blush?

Before she left she put the book away,

perhaps to return ro ir another day

(from here, hopefully, it is not gone astray).

Afterward, I thought to see her selection

and followed up that throbbing . . . direction

("throbbing" I meant, of my curiosity;

I hope my quest does not seem quixotic;

or my thoughts about it, skewed and chaotic).

The volume contained some poems of Propertius---

those that were most objectively erotic.

At lunch later, engaged in conversation,
she told her friends about the excitation
of reading poems so thoroughly telling of

the body's conveyance of spiritual love---
intangible until fully allied
in this star-stuff, the flesh, and vivified.



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