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Six Urban Love Songs

II.  San Francisco


Pierced tongue.  Do-it-yourself lisp.

What is this?  Penitence?  Native wisdom?

Mutilation?  or signal:  I'll do anything.

Was it a dare?  or a careful plan?  Did it sting—

or ache—and does the food get caught—

and should such a person work in a restaurant?

Customers' stomachs can turn—or does desire

turn to her—to wish—to feel the fire

glide over the silver (or is it gold?) pin?

And you, my darling, with your end-

less speculation:  Is heis shegay?

Does he or she want youor meor either way?

Why do you need to know? I am here.

This is my body; eat.  Unwrap.  Disappear.


Kate Light



From The Laws of Falling Bodies, Story Line Press,
© 1997, co-winner of the 1997 Nicholas Roerich Prize.
 Reprinted by permission of the author.

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