overview published poems unpublished poems

La Poésie du Corps

I remember that year in France
half of it in Pau
the other half in Paris
and the two men I loved there:
André, a small-boned doe-eyed
intellectual who wooed me
with Baudelaire and Proust.
I would sit trembling on my chair
as he stood behind, leaning over just enough to
turn the pages of the book on my lap.
Ce poète…, he would say
Ces paroles…,
his kisses soft butter,
his soul in his mouth.
This is what it is to be loved by a poet, I thought.
Till the day he began groping in the dark,
and became like any other boy.
In the end, just an intellectual looking for a feel.
So I sought my cure in Paris,
where I ate paté, smoked Gaulloises
lived in a tiny eighth-floor room,
and found Jean-Pierre.
Black haired, black bearded,
he was a Frenchman out of place in Paris,
who longed for mountains and lakes,
a man of few words, who didn't need them.
I would watch him as he dressed in front of
my tiny mirror and sink,
awestruck by the perfection of his limbs,
the smoothness of his stomach and chest.
This was no poet.
Still, as he caressed me, whispering:
Je veux te faire gémir,
it was with a poet's passion.
And the words of Rimbaud and Baudelaire
would sing through my skin, be answered by his,
as my body discovered a verse of its own.