“Daphne Swears Off It” by Susan Rich

Susan Rich


She wants to answer yes no more—
no more nuzzling of the earlobes,
tussle of breasts, slow rolling acts of the tongue.
Instead she takes another
glass of lemon water, watches
jasmine flowers unfurl into flying stars—
raspberries ripen, their cells exploding.
Though he licks each finger, sweetly
massages her hips, her inner wrists,
whistles while he works
the underwear down the backs of her knees—
she prefers the touch of sea grass—
honeysuckle and the scented
scrub rose of midsummer’s eve.
What is one man compared to an ocean?
Broad shoulders to the shoreline’s blue cry?
She wants to tell him
that last night soaring just under
a creamy edge of quarter moon
she tasted desire, left it cool.
But instead she rubs his forehead
licks it tentatively, if only
you were sea salt, if only
an apricot tree.

from Rattle #27, Summer 2007

Rattle Logo