Summer 2008, #15
       "Convenient Acts of Human Behavior"

Two Poems

     by Diane Lockward


You think it's easy
to unravel the boa of feathers and cast
it off, to turn the act
of undressing into an art, suggest Yes
to each hungry face, go just so far and then desist?

Not one can touch, but all must leave feeling sated.

Sequins sparkle as she slinks across the dais,
peels the skirt and tosses it as if rolling dice,
and then the bustier, hook by hook, and thrown aside,
a spider molting, her gaze at once smoldering and icy,
the swivel of hips, to keep the tease slow and steady.

Woman with Fruit

Raisins, prunes, and apricots,
the dried fruits she hungers for,
done now with ripeness, the mess of juice.

Especially she craves figs,
their turtle-textured skin, resolute stem,
quirky resilience of the pendulous bladder,

and inside the sack, seeds that crackle like grit.