Fall 2023 • Vol. XLV No. 4 Luminous Gender VesselAugust 30, 2023 |

Pleasure

I enjoy not sleeping next to you. I love not lying beside you in bed. Particularly delicious is not waking up beside you. Hours wander by like bears rummaging trash, like deer nosing a garden, in which I do not think of you or even remember knowing you. It’s great. Plants grow. The sun does its job. There are all kinds of little wildflowers in the yard that I need to learn the names of. Rather than mow them over. The stomach of the mammal that is my lover has a sheen in the sun that strikes me down so I sink my head beneath the freezing water of the ocean we swim in together, allowing the current to carry our buoyant bodies bobbing glad in sun along eddies and we hold hands even when walking in the grocery store, not like when you would leave the car after we parked and head in ten paces ahead of me and later leave me at the register to pay. Sometimes I talk about you with my lover but never in the manner I explain flowers I do not know the names of because when I talk about

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Photo of Cate Marvin

Cate Marvin has published four books of poems, most recently Event Horizon (Copper Canyon Press, 2022). She teaches at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York, and lives in Southern Maine.

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Azaleas

By Cate Marvin

I enjoy not sleeping next to you. I love not lying beside you in bed. Particularly delicious is not waking up beside you. Hours wander by like bears rummaging trash, […]

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