Coveting, with Pronunciation
And what if I said
your breasts rise
like an umlaut over the o of your stomach?
That I have imagined two hipbones, grave
and acute, inflecting legs long as vowels,
ohs and oohs, the tendons at the backs
of your knees taut as macrons? Who else
will tell you how your top lip lurks
over your teeth like a tilde, the small list
of your smirk to the left?
me whisper you
seduction like a cedilla, soft and complex,
an arcing voice full of hooks and barbs.
Let me rest the circumflex of my hands, tented,
tentative, against your waist. Let my body
be a breve, the cup into which you drop
your breath. Let desire be clumsy
as a schwa, upside-down, almost soundless.
From The Body is
No Machine by Jennifer Perrine
Issues Poetry & Prose, Western Michigan University, Dept. of English,
1903 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5331
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