Nude Descending a Staircase
Toe upon toe, a snowing flesh,
A gold of lemon, root and rind,
She sifts in sunlight down the stairs
With nothing on. Nor on her mind.
We spy beneath the banister
A constant thresh of thigh on thigh—
Her lips imprint the swinging air
That parts to let her parts go by.
One woman waterfall, she wears
Her slow descent like a long cape
And pausing, on the final stair,
Collects her motions into shape.
From Cross Ties: Selected Poems
of Georgia Press, 1985), copyright
by X. J. Kennedy. For permission to
transmit by internet, or for any other
address Curtis Brown Ltd., Ten Astor
New York, NY 10003.