Kundalini Splendor

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

On Your Slender Body (poem) 

On Your Slender Body

On your slender body
you wore what women wore then—
not silk, but jeans,
long white shirt,
hair parted behind.

You came in humming a song,
up to date, like you.
Your native eyes were brown,
as if you were looking
at a secret,
something far away.

You were like a scent
hovering nearby,
perfuming the room,
“Here I am. I’ve come.”

We did nothing exceptional.
Sometimes we played bridge
with the others
in the common living room,
or shared a meal
with them.
We seldom went places together.
Everything centered
on the one room, ours.
Something there
carried us
to some other place.

I keep wondering
what happened to you,
where you went,
how many lovers you had
Was it true,
as the newspaper said,
you had married?
It was hard to believe
and I wondered why.
Where are you now?
Do you still sing those throaty songs,
like love strokes in the dark?
I still have your picture.

Dorothy Walters
March 14, 2009

This poem is inspired by another written in the nineteenth century by Wu Tsao, who has been called China’s great lesbian poet. Her poem is one of longing for her beloved, an elegant courtesan. It begins “On your slender body/ Jade and coral girdle ornaments chime.”
I am indebted to Lynne Brown for introducing me to this wonderful poet.

(picture from Wikipedia)

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