A mere shudder / by Risa Denenberg
She imagines a long, lean body,
closes her eyes as she gathers up chubby hips
laps at the salt lick of saggy tits,
tries to re-enter the rhythm and rhapsody,
womb over fist.
We make so much of this small discharge
this exclamation mark.
It takes such a rim of cunning
to maintain lust. A flower pot
of love-sick soup simmers
on the back burner.
A Perfect Reader / by Risa Denenberg
After a dreamy reading, a poet stands
at the podium to take a few questions.
Someone asks: Who is your ideal reader?
Modestly, he replies, one who reads a poem
more than once.
There and then, I vow to be his reader.
I will recite the poem until its words enter me
like a lover who waits for the silky readiness
of the beloved’s lust.
I will read aloud and in silence, I will memorize
line by line. I will read ardently and get lost
time and again. I will swing languidly backwards
to the beginning a million times
to locate not his meaning, nor mine
but ours. Or if there is no meaning, I will
contemplate the depths of its emptiness.
I will not be deterred by difficult style
or language. I will chew the poem
down to its scaffolding and ink it with
red stars to navigate each of its turns.
I will not sleep or eat during the countless hours
of our tête-á-tête. I will not cuckold
my poet for any other.