Photo by Lynne Burnett

Not just naked breasts, but nipples dipping
like nibs from a full inkwell, nipples like the pink
nubs of erasers at the ends of pencils, rendering
an inquisitive tongue speechless, nipples like knobs
twisting open an attic door to the house of pleasure;

Not just long hair, but hair unabbreviated—sunwhite,
silvershadowed, falling where it may, fielding the
creamy slope of her shoulders, with the wings of a
far-off bird for eyebrows, and a moist sweep of
dreams mounding at Venus’ favoured door;

Not just a body, but a body of language, a lifetime
sentence, the subject of my attention, inexplicable,
marked by questions—finely coded in facial creases,
flexed with the bump of inquiry, elsewhere the line
gone slack, the bite off, a failure of sorts to reel in
what lives in the belly of that sea—laughing anyway;

Not just a hand held out to me, but a handle put
on our joint bucket of years, in her palm the sky—
nothing tangible to speak of, a negative falling
through fingers as light, moon rising in the window
of a thumbnail, eyes locked on some vision or
someone between us, who in one click got her right;

Not just a woman standing, but standing still forever,
so I could look and look, for as long as I liked,
the way I want to stand with my clothes off—
undiminished, unchastened by mirrors or lights or
the disquieting flicker of a man’s gaze—all the
awkward particulars inhabited: ten out of ten.

–Lynne Burnett

LYNNE BURNETTLynne Burnett lives in West Vancouver, B.C. with her husband. Publications include North Shore Magazine, CV2, Geist, the Pedestal Magazine, Malahat Review, Calyx, Modern Haiku, Pandora’s Collective, New Millennium Writings. Poems are forthcoming in Taos Journal of Poetry, IthacaLit, and a Tupelo Press chapbook anthology. In 2011 she was shortlisted for both Arc’s Poem of the Year and the Bridport Prize; in 2012 for both the New Letters Poem of the Year and the Bridport Prize, and also placed in several contests. She has self-published one chapbook, “Stealing Eternity”.



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