River Stones



Because it is most like skin.

Because it looks, when it tumbles around you,

like running water stopped, as in a frame,

transfigured liquid, fixed in motion.

Because it slides on the skin like fingertips,

as light, as intent, as delicate as fingertips.


Deep green, hunter green,

Green of newmown grass on a cloudy day,

Green of the lowest needles of the fourth

pine in from the forest edge,

the sun behind you as you look.

Green as the wall that framed you

to my delight.

Lined in white:

Not white, but more a pink,

the pink of pale, pale roses;

Not pink but yellow,

the pale yellow of butter;

Not yellow, really but

white/not white.

Lined in pale pearl silk,

to keep the silk against the skin,

pearl whiter than your deep pearl skin,

pale against the glow of your sweet skin.

Beneath it:


Let the silk touch you,

drifting on your back as you turn

from the hip, as you kneel Oriental on your heels,

sliding, like buffing cloth,

over the flexed muscle of your flank,

sinking, with its dense weightlessness,

into every hollow it can find,

linking fabric to skin:

one body, one gown,

two things conjunct of subtle alchemy,

then one, the dancer and the dance one thing,

the garment and the goddess, one green thing.

Poetry Writing Dancing Badger