Winter 1956 • Vol. XVIII No. 1 Poetry |

Pygmalion

I find most women like the Cyprian maid Before her skin had metamorphosed from Ivory into flesh, before the numb Hardness of her lips had soft repaid Soft lips, before her arms returned embrace. I find most women are like marble shrines, Imperfect in their warmth, imperfect in Their benedictions, imperfect in their thin, Frigid perfections; imperfect anodynes. If clay or plaster woke for me, I'd grace The lips with vicious want, the veins with slave Desire; I'd work the lifeless arms with greed, The fingers with nails for love. I'd place a grave Within the loins, a grim unsettling fear That all the certainties of life recede Before the lost request, the railing jeer.

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