Visiting Friends

Tonight, I leafed through the two volumes of poetry I published a couple of years ago. It was an experiment. I needed to see what kindle would do to my work, both from a formatting perspective and that of marketing. 
It’s true that I would never be rude enough to think my poems were good as whole beings. Love them, I do, even when they’re bad and they commit the terrible sins of being banal or cliché. Because they have their moments–odd, exquisite images or impressions that stay with me. 

One in particular, which is certainly nothing epic or heartbreakingly beautiful, stands out. It’s both memory and the song of what I want, drawn from my book of poetry centered on desire, love, and devotion. Running across it, I longed to share it. And since I’m horrible at promoting my own work, I thought I might share it here. 

The Context of Intimacy~

I don’t think we ever see real nakedness anymore 

Until we go foraging for shared food 

Groceries. Stock provisions. Victuals. 

I’d seen you en déshabillé; you’d seen me too. 

After drinks and ridiculous date food 

That wasn’t worth the tab. 

For show; setting me up for your bed.  
Sex was starched, like table linen. 

Glances were impermeable, 

And this stranger dance left me 


But as I watched you run a finger 

Against the varied surfaces of ingredients, 

Clad in the salvaged jeans of yesterday 

And a sweatshirt with a ragged hem, felt a rush of hot, lush intimacy. 
The midnight fluorescence of the grocery store 

Mood lighting. Your mashed hair and tired eyes 

Hopelessly erotic. 

Our cart has a squeaky wheel and bristles 
With greens and tortillas, beans, chilies, steak. 

A disreputable red and my decision to stay 

So I can reexamine everything I missed.
At the register, you turn and look at me 

You know what I’ve decided, and there’s no need 

To talk about what will happen next. 

Gently understood. 

As we walk out into the cold you move close 

And whisper in a tongue-biting tone 

That you can’t wait to feed me. 

This is what was missing–the real Us.

A Thirst for Light, Copyright Erin Sandlin, 2015. 


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