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Page 246

I haven't many pages left in this book. I hope
I haven't said it all already. I hope we aren't
an old married couple, saying the usual things
to each other over the breakfast table (pass the
bacon, please). Poetry must be all honeymoon
or else despair that the honeymoon is over,
perhaps never happened. I like it to be all honeymoon,
pretend I've never seen you naked before, pretend
I'm touching you for the first time, say, "What if your
parents come home early, and find us like this" – though
both our parents died decades ago. (We are fat orphans
in our 60s, who'd've thought it would be so much fun?)

(Honeymoon, hell – naive urchin is ever wilder,
touching you and saying, "Wow! Where's your penis?")

Sorry, Reader, I've shifted "We's" on you. (What fun
to make the bed springs wheeze, our own breath yet
unconstrained, a soft sough, both prefix and soughix
to our long-soughing lust.) That's the thing about metaphors –
it's so easy to slip into reality, for I have a real marriage
besides ours on the page ("This time YOU be the Mommy
and I'll be the Daddy!" "No, I get to be the cowboy-Indian-
Detective. You be the crook.") (Why shouldn't a cowboy
be an Indian who is also a detective? So I reasoned
as a child. I wanted to have – or be – it all.)

"Who is this ‘we'?" a poetry workshop friend asks,
always trying to make me earn every pronoun. And
isn't that the way of honeymoons? Each whispered
"You! You! You!" is a brand new creation, each you
stepping naked from the opened fluted shell of each
opalescent instant? Each I, each eye made newly
by the vision of each you? It isn't what we say
across a table or page. It's me being here with you
and you with me and our knowing we are here
with each other, even HERE, where we have no
bodies to mark our places.

[But, I tell my workshop friend, I get my pronouns wholesale –
got a great deal on used Listerine commercials – "He said that
she said that he had halitosis...". Some great deals out there
on E-Bay, He-Bay and She-Bay. Tell the Queen of She-Bay
I sent you.]

Note: It IS confusing. The "we" seems at first to be me and the reader (you), but the two 60-plus-year-old orphans are me and my wife (Pam), but then, as of this writing, she's about one third of the people (besides me) who have read all of this book, though I completed it more than a year ago, so perhaps she is the other member of both these we's -- or weewee, or Oui Oui! But if a million readers join this Whee, I'll make room in my infinitely extendable metaphorical bed. In stanza 3, the plays on "sough" (the sigh of wind or breath) assume it is pronounced "suff" (one of the two pronunciations pronounced acceptable by Webster). "Long-soughing lust" suggests, I hope, "long-suffering lust" as well as the hard breathing of lovers approaching climax – and wind scattering seed from trees.

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