DR (1949 / Los Angeles, California)

Virgins (Love Poem)

Hunched against the wall, ninety-one degrees, August, night—
he crawled out the window—he ran in the dark—

the two fourteen year-olds, in the entry hall he pressed
his open mouth on the front of her thighs, her ankles,

all he could reach till her astonished mother broke them apart,
hitting them with a broom then stopping to slap the back of

her daughter's head. Still alert thinking of her sweat thick hair
sticking to her face, the fold of her lips, the vaginal throat,

the sonata soaking inside of it. He was actually figuring the chances
of whether a deer really does lie down with a virgin, as in the old

tapestries, as in the mind that made a good allegory,
in the mind awake with the animal smell, and the tenderness.

And it could only be good to be that close to a deer, to have
red and purple dahlias there for the deer to eat—aren’t they

the blended color of a deer's mouth and therefore a kind of
twin growing beside the virgin's lap, where the deer lowered

its head, so, in the allegory the deer is also her lover, and there is
no truly crazy mother swinging a broom and then resting it

so she could pull her daughter's hair, start shrieking in Hungarian
and Spanish, then pleading to some god about this and this

and spitting at a deer and knocking a rubber plant over,
and sweeping dirt onto the Mexican tiles, spattering dirt inside

the rose cactus heads
and the bathing suit bottoms.

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