Fall 2010 / Issues / Poetry 2010 / Volume 41

Some of the Women — Nick Bertelson

“…how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again…”

-James Joyce, Ulysses

who let you watch them mornings when they dressed; who sent you up ladders; who left blood in back seats; who skulked across their parents’ roofs, shimmied down satellite poles, jumped through shadows; who farted loudly only in sleep; who changed their own oil; who used only tongue; whose knuckles kneaded your back; who pulled from ovens the source of a smell you loved; whose bodies were breathing furnaces meant for you to wrap yourself around; whose parts of a whole you found everywhere; who, with your earlobe in their teeth, whispered for you to fuck them; whose hair you pulled from your lint trap; who screamed at the moon through sunroofs; whose underwear bunched up over low-rise jeans, or sat so low only you knew their lacy secret, or balled up on the floor transformed into a broken slingshot band–something powerful, delicate, and derelict; who drank and cussed and smoked and coughed and worried when you did the same; who suggested the “French” way; who knew of all the other women and still said nothing; who fell asleep with wet hair like seaweed; who weaved fingers between your fingers; who waxed, cut, plucked, shaved, sprayed, brushed, and blushed–all for you?

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