Poetry 2013 / Volume 44

A Woman’s Apartment — Ace Boggess

entering a new one that first time
penetration of the doorway’s defenses

seeing the private inch by inch
like peeling away a sweater or long flower skirt

step in & bring the tension with you
how it rubs against anticipation in your chest

each footfall is a conquering
each a plea for unshackling from business hours

why do you hesitate staring
at rows of books that define a shelf & a life

when your eyes wish to seek out ends
of dark hallways & all that stays hidden?

of course you sniff the air for traces
where a candle burned it berries & cinnamon

what now? do you sit with palms on knees?
or wait to be directed through the mysteries?

this is what you love not the lips or skin
but the strangeness after the invitation

how you would scrub dishes stacked in her sink
to steal a glimpse of floral patterns on her plates

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