Fall 1980 • Vol. II No. 4 Poetry |


That winter your old babe joined the health club. In saunas, she and I sweated and stewed, and dryly sized each other up. Steam blue as gentians swirled between our dirty looks. My birthmark, my caesarian scar marked the hide of a sturdy prole, built to last, and I came only as high as her surly heart. She thought to herself, Peasant, shorty, mother of chubby babies. But the hamstrings stood out in her hunter's legs. Her skin was all fired up from a decade of gutsy martinis. Her nose flipped, a miracle, a little crown princess of rhinoplasty, but nothing else was holding its own. The miles bumped down everything that youth zooms up. I thought: Old tart with dirty money, and kohl in her crow's-feet. I loved to watch her being massaged. The no-nonsense Finn fell on her like a mother bear, pounded her into blubbering scarlet jellies. Then, in the shower, a loofah's ape hand rubbed her raw, wiped her clean of prints. I did manic jumping jacks while she coiled wounded in black towels, Ma

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece

Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.

Read More


Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.


With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.