Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Of You The Orcas Sing (from my archives)

You told me your body was pale, far
paler than mine, like coconut pudding,
warm off the stove as mom used to make,
and so I tested it.

For me, it became a soft pillow,
smoothed itself into my curves,
offered respite for lonely arms and hands,
pleasured parts I do not wish
to speak of now.

I am dwarfed by the dark room,
reach out to touch the cooling contour
of your indent, damp evidence of our
past days together.

You had to get back, you said.
She would be waiting.

Downstairs, my neighbor sings off key.
she has never been with a man, I hear.

She sings as if the stars have not fallen
or the sun tumbled off the horizon
into vast gray oceans where Orcas sing
of white bellies and lovers touching
pale hands in the soundlessness of space.

Pris Campbell

Published in MiPo Bonsai Edition Print 2004


Michael Parker said...

Beautiful. I love the last couple of stanzas the best. That's where the homerun is hit.

Pris said...

Thanks, Michael
When I first wrote this, I had so many comments that it was the image of the neighbor singing offkey, never having been with a man that got to them, too.

Geoff Sanderson said...

That's a really beautiful - and funny - poem, P; hadn't read it before, so a new treat. I'm writing to Mr Bush to tell him that he should award you a big pension for your services to American poetry - so expect Air Force 1 to land on your lawn any day now :-)

By the way, if you sing off-key, does it necessarily mean that you have never been with a man? Contrarywise, I sing on-key quite well, but I've never been with a man! Hugsankisses.

Pris said...

If you sing on key and you're a man, there's a new interpretation, but I won't tell you now. I'm expecting Air Force One!