Friday, November 17, 2023

"Topography" by Sharon Olds


After we flew across the country we
got in bed, laid our bodies
delicately together, like maps laid
face to face, East to West, my
San Francisco against your New York, your
Fire Island against my Sonoma, my
New Orleans deep in your Texas, your Idaho
bright on my Great Lakes, my Kansas
burning against your Kansas your Kansas
burning against my Kansas, your Eastern
Standard Time pressing into my
Pacific Time, my Mountain Time
beating against your Central Time, your
sun rising swiftly from the right my
sun rising swiftly from the left your
moon rising slowly from the left your
moon rising slowly from the left my
moon rising slowly from the right until
all four bodies of the sky
burn above us, sealing us together,
all our cities twin cities,
all our states untied, one
nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Source of the text - Sharon Olds, The Gold Cell.  New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1987, page 58.

TJB: Eroticartography; folding maps as deeply sensual.  This lovemaking lyric uses short phrases in elegant long chiasmus patterns & ends on a salute.

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