The following poem was gifted to me this week from one of those wonderfully amazing friends. Were she and the poet laying on the grass beside me? I wonder...
Thank you, C.
The Sun Lover
The long afternoon after church
a girl lies on the lawn,
glazed thighs slightly parted,
fingers splayed like petals. At sixteen
she is a virgin. While her parents nap
in the quiet house, she knows
the sun is teaching her about love,
how it comes over your body
making every muscle go soft
in its pitiless gaze,
how it penetrates everything,
changing you into something dark
and radiant. She craves it,
knows it is everywhere like God’s love,
but difficult to find. She waits,
entirely still, trying to see her eyelids–
not lingering traces, but the lids themselves
luminous and red as the cheeks of the kid
who stuck a flashlight in his mouth at camp.
She squints so the tips of her lashes
flash like iridescent fish scales.
Every hour, she turns over but prefers
to face the sun. All her life
she’ll measure loves against this
gentle ravishing. She’ll spend afternoons
alone on crowded beaches, and at home
stand naked before mirrors, amazed
by the pale shape of her suit. She’ll touch
her cheekbones’ tingling pink, and nip
at her lover’s shoulders, as if
it were earth she were after.
photo of me at 16