American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Passage · Poetry

Rebecca Seiferle

So I did not think of you so much as I felt you
drifting through my being, in some gesture
that held me poised like a hummingbird above
the scarlet blossoms of the trumpet vine, I kissed you
above the heart, and by above I mean there,
not that geometric center, the breastbone
that so many use to divide the body in half and so mistake
for the place where the heart lies, but the exact
location, a little to the left, just on the crescent
where the breast begins to rise; oh, I know
all that drift of white implies, the vanished clothing,
the disappearing room, that landscape of the skin
and night that opens in imagination and in feeling
upon a sea of snow, so that just one kiss above
the heart is a kiss upon the heart, as if one could
kiss the very pulse of being, light upon the head
of that pin that pins us here, that tiny disk where
angels were once believed to dance, and all that
nakedness without could not have been
except for all that burning deep within

— Rebecca Seiferle, from “White of snow or white of page is not,” Wild Tongue (Copper Canyon Press, 2007)

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