Tuesday Poem

Slip

Liquid alignment of fabric and outer
………… thigh. Slip.
Which mimics the thing it’s meant to allow.
………… Passage

of air on either side of the tongue whose meat
………… as if
to thicken the likeness of substance and sound
………… meets just

that plot of upper palate behind the teeth.
………… And yet
at normal speed the very aptness loses its full
………… bouquet.

“Salomé was wearing red pumps and the palest of
………… pale blue
satin slips.” I would in my predictable girlhood
………… have much

preferred a word I took to be scented like Giverny:
………… “Salomé
was wearing red pumps and a pale blue satin
………… chemise.”

It’s taken me all this time to hear the truer
………… difference—slip—
which only wants a little lingering in the mouth
………… to summon how it

thinks about the contours of the body. So the
………… speed of it—
slip—and the lingering can resume their proper tug-
………… of-war. The boy

they’d had the wit to cast as Salomé, both nude
………… and may-as-well-be-
nude, was every inch presentable, flawless, as
………… though one

might live in the body and feel no shame. No
………… wonder,
forced to endure as they did the reek of the tidal
………… Thames, our

predecessors took this for the universal object of
………… desire.
The history of the English stage right there in the
………… slippage between not-

quite and already over and gone. And yes I
………… get
the part about predation the grooming in all of its
………… sordid detail,

I was never half so fair as this but fair enough
………… to have been
fair game. In a town with limited options.
………… I’ve spent

more than half my life trying to rid myself
………… of aftermath
so let me be enchanted now. Youth at a safe
………… remove

Linda Gregson
from the Academy of American Poets

Like what you're reading? Don't keep it to yourself!
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Reddit
Reddit
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email