Winter 1999 • Vol. XXI No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 1999 |

Rising Venus

They have it wrong: I am not young, was born old enough to ride the rough waves of the sea without drowning, and immodestly. Semen and seaweed clung to my hair, hung on my bare skin, which shimmered in the salt-stunned air. I had to endure such heaviness; to push upward against the rush of riptide and current. I said, I can't do this, but I did it, and I made it look natural to float au naturelle, easy as the art of swimming in salt water, my pelvis fallopian, eager, the shell scalloped, the shell's translucent pink a flat-out Freudian wink. Did you think that shell beached itself? That a breeze as soft as a hand luffed my long hair and breathed me onto land? And when I reached shore, I yanked leeches from my legs, dredged sand from armpits, cadged food from scavenging birds. I learned the words I would need here. Learned want, learned fear and how to live with both (How? Forgive yourself for being m

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They have it wrong: I am not young, was born old enough to ride the rough waves of the sea without drowning, and immodestly. Semen and seaweed clung to my […]

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