I wish I could take credit for this

No matter how you choose to define it.

It is you.

For you:

If I were a cinnamon peeler
I would ride your bed
and leave the yellow bark dust
on your pillow.


Your breasts and shoulders would reek
you could never walk through markets
without the profession of my fingers
floating over you.

The blind would stumble
certain of whom they approached
though you might bathe
under rain gutters, monsoon.

Here on the upper thigh
at this smooth pasture
neighbor to your hair
or the crease
that cuts your back.

This ankle.

You will be known among strangers
as the cinnamon peeler’s wife.

I could hardly glance at you before marriage
never touch you — your keen nosed mother,
your rough brothers.

I buried my hands
in saffron, disguised them
over smoking tar,
helped the honey gatherers…

When we swam once
I touched you in water
and our bodies remained free,
you could hold me and be blind of smell.

You climbed the bank and said
this is how you touch other women
the grasscutter’s wife, the lime burner’s daughter.

And you searched your arms
for the missing perfume.
and knew
what good is it
to be the lime burner’s daughter
left with no trace
as if not spoken to in an act of love
as if wounded without the pleasure of scar.

You touched
your belly to my hands
in the dry air and said
I am the cinnamonpeeler’s wife.

Smell me.

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4 Comments

  1. Anonymous said,

    July 26, 2007 at 5:41 pm

    That’s my favorite poem in the whole wide world. Hate his books, love this poem.
    Brenda

  2. Creative Thinker said,

    July 27, 2007 at 8:29 am

    Thanks for the nice comment … of course you can add me. It’s nice to think that someone out there actually reads this stuff. I can’t wait to read yours as well…Take care…Shel

  3. MARFSBABY said,

    July 27, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    ohhhh… why don’t I get it?

  4. KellyNerd said,

    July 27, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    Shel – no problem. I am off on holidays until next Thursday so there wont be any posts… but I usually post daily.

    Marf – you dont understand the poem?? It is about love, sex, the body … whatever you want it to be about … it struck me, hit me, sucked the wind out of me and made wish I had wrote it.


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