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Petting and Being a Pet

Dogs, lambs, chickens, women - pets of all nations!
Fur or feathers under the kneading fingers
of those who long to have pets, relations
of softness to fleshiness, how a hand lingers
on a head or on the ear of a head, thus the sound
of petting and being a pet, a sounding horn:
needing met by kneading of bone which is found
through flesh. Have you ever felt forlorn
looking at a cat on someone else's lap, wishing
the cat was you? Look at how an animal is passed
from lap to lap in a room, so many wishing
to hold it. We wish to be in the vast
caress, both animal and hand. Like eyes make sense
of seeing, touch makes being make sense.


Afraid

Hell, I'm afraid I'll be afraid of your voice,
that's why I don't call (and because I'd like
to be grown-up about my phone bill, choice
being a signal of adulthood)! Like
something papery, but stiff, I think
your voice will sound, like the end of a tablet
of paper, no more whiteness or lines set
in sheer availability. My heart will sink
when I see the gray cardboard backing staring
at me, unblinking, the way I think your voice
wills tare, if voices stared, gray and uncaring.
I wish you were here. I'd ask your advice
about whether to call. You'd put your arm
around me and we'd talk, our voices warm,
about whether it would do us any harm.


The Burnt Lawn

THe August lawn is overmown; it's tan,
almost, instead of green. It's dry, not sad.
(It's not going to die.) Millions of bodies ran
through the lawn this summer: dogs, birds,
barefooted kids, and the feet of women
and men, strapped with tan marks from the sun.
The bare calves, fleecy heads, and lemon-
colored buttocks in the distance in the sun
of those two beautiful lids' bodies making
love rolled down the lawn while we watched with drinks
in our hands on the hill one day, taking
our time, taking all the world's time for the links
which would link you and me momentarily.
You noticed them first. I was talking too hurriedly.

~Molly Peacock, Raw Heaven

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lillian_peterson

December 2013

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