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The Enemy

Text of Poem

That girl who now switches
her tail, juts her breasts,
struts her wares, is scared in
her blood as a rabbit that knows
the hawk waits. All that flesh
in bloom for the summer, the
withering touch of her calendar
still hidden. Silently she begs
in her need for the lustful eye
to seize her in its talons, for
the gardener’s hand to pluck her
while her perfume lasts. She denies
the grinning skull behind her cheeks,
a skeleton’s bones in those long
brown, lascivious legs, those soft
embracing arms. Yet she knows
the ambush where her enemy lurks,
and her lips open in a laugh
shaped like a shriek of terror.

First Line
The girl who now switches
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
Westerly Review 2 (1977).
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No issue or page number listed for Westerly Review