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Marge Piercy

Today supine, groaning with demon crab claws
gouging my belly, I tell you I will secretly dance
and pour a cup of wine on the earth
when time stops that leak permanently;
I will burn my last tampons as votive candles. p. 27

If we do not honor wisdom, we are doomed
to stupidity, pea brains in our dinosaur tails
ready to run ten miles around and around
a gerbil in a cage, or a blinded
workhorse turning some owner’s mill. p. 29

The stones draw me from the center of my body.
I rub against them the way the sheep do, tufts
of wool strewn at their base like offerings.
They make me want to fuck slowly and for hours.
The tors are wrinkled rock expressive and fierce.
From any of them you can watch the sky change the land. p. 39

A whole loaf of bread. What did that mean to him?
The thing humans never give him? Therefore precious?
Or simply something entire, seamless, perfect for once. p. 40

…We who are raised to shame
for the moist orchard between our thighs
must wish we were as certain of our beauty. p. 55

to fly and mate at last. Sometimes
we get just what we want, and it alters
us ever after, neither better nor worse
but clearer, with different blood and face. p. 62

Naked dancing among cacti adn brambles,
barefoot over hot razor blades on skittish feet,
how often I threw myself to love
like a piece of meat dropped in a shark tank. p. 68

I am trying to work and instead
I drip love for you like a honeycomb.
I am devoid of fantasies clean as rainwater
waiting to flow all over your skin. p. 71

These: the whistling row of raccoons
mating, diesel locomotives in heat
leveling the bushes and snorting leaves. p. 75

Sometimes happy in bed I think
of black radishes, round, hefty,
full of juice and hot within,
just like our love. p. 80

I mourn in grey, grey as the sleeted
wind, the bled shades of twilight,
gunmetal, battleships, industrial paint,
the uniforms of trustees, the grey of proper
business suits and bankers’ hearts,
the color of ash. Death comes in a fog. p. 89

In the winter he went down before the sun
came up, and when he rose, it had sunk,
a world of darkness down in the damp,
then up in the cold where the stars burned
like the sparks you see on squinted eyes. p. 90

We don’t own the earth, not even the way
you buy a condo, Ken. We don’t time-share
here, but live on it as hair grows
on the scalp, from the inside; we are part
of earth, not visitors using the facilities.
If the plumbing breaks down, we can’t move out
to a bigger house. Rain is earth’s blood
and ours while we swim and life swims in us. p. 116

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