the wetness

The Wetness

I wanted to write a simple poem
about the wetness between a woman's legs

and what kind of holy moment it is
when the man's hand quietly moves south

over the smooth curve of the belly
into the shade of that other hemisphere

and his fingertips find hidden in dark fur
the seam already expectant in its moistness.

I wanted to write about that moment
as if it was full of incense,

and monks holding up their Latin like a torch
deep inside a cavern of Gregorian chant,

but if I write that, someone will inevitably say what
has that romantic foofaw got to do

with the beleaguered realtities of love
or with the biological exigencies of lubrication

or with the vast, retarded hierarchies of human suffering?

And someone else will add
that the man's hand
represents the historical hunter-gatherer tradition

invading the valley of the woman's body
with the obsolete presumptions of possession,

whereas the woman's body is known to be
the starting place of agriculture,

doing just fine, thank you, by itself,

until the man's hand barges into her Shangri-La,
and tramples her zucchinis and tomatoes.

But to the man, the wetness is a blessing
for which there is no history;

a coin that cannot be counterfeit,

and when the man's fingers reach it,
the wetness ripples upwards like a volt,
a cool wind, an annunciation

and he tastes it,
as if his hand was a tongue
he had sent ahead of him.

I wanted to write a poem about
the wetness
between a woman's legs,

but it got complicated in language.
It is a wetness the man would make for himself
if he could

- if he could only reach
that part of himself
which has been dry for years;

if he could only show
a part of what he feels
when he finds out

he is not a thousand miles from home.
Then he will not have to go

into the country of desire alone.

~Tony Hoagland. from Application for Release from the Dream

there is a story that goes with this, but it can wait for another time ... xxx


J Cosmo Newbery said...

It is refreshingly straight forward, telling it as it is, and yet with a love and a wonder and perhaps a little trepidation.

red dirt girl said...

I agree. I love how the final stanzas focus the poem's journey into a singular, poignant (confessional?) moment. Beautiful. xxx