Summer 1982 • Vol. IV No. 3 Contemporary American Poetry |

Ode to Desire

What rage, our bodies twisted like wiresin the brain's switchboard, hurt plugged to joy,need to despair, how it happens so quickly, this enteringof another's soul like molecules of glass, connectingflesh & dream in the sheets of a hundred beds, springknocking at the windows—your long female bodysprawling into full radiance, ah, such high laughterin light-flushed rooms, our wires impossibly mixed! Remember the newsreels of marathon dancers,how they cling like shadows long after the musicof first passion, how they push & drag each otherlike swimmers stretching toward the surface lightof their desire to continue the embraceanother quarter turn round the speckled floor! To think that after we have given up all hopeof perfection I am still jealous of the red towelyou wrap round your raisin hair & of the photos of you as a childwho looked happy enough not to know me & that I still cannot understandthe blood's rush to give all & the urgency that opens in my ches

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PHILIP SCHULTZ’s latest books are Living in the Past (Harcourt, 2004) and The Holy Worm of Praise (Harcourt, 2002). He founded and directs the Writers Studio in New York City and lives in East Hampton.

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What rage, our bodies twisted like wiresin the brain's switchboard, hurt plugged to joy,need to despair, how it happens so quickly, this enteringof another's soul like molecules of glass, connectingflesh […]

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