Jean Day
from The Literal World


Whose Consort, the Lion, Is Never Said to Roar

A departing girl embraces her mother's knees
because that is where the pivot is
for power. The seeds
of the head enlist
in her chthonic character
our insane libidos
                            (periodical again)
flanked as they are by explainers
become small, transportable
but not unnoteworthy objects of exchange.
                           The girl
swallows a snake, has a water
                                        chaser. You know her
crush on you doesn't flow from ethics
but from the window of a tower
in foreshortened space.
How can we meet all our partners (bohemian shadow
kissers) then
if their bodies get stuck in time—or
                                         the river
   where you are washing your unreasonable mane
                                                   deshabille, desultory
     and cast far and wide in space?