First turn to me. . . .

By Bernadette Mayer b. 1945 Bernadette Mayer
First turn to me after a shower,
you come inside me sideways as always

in the morning you ask me to be on top of you,   
then we take a nap, we’re late for school

you arrive at night inspired and drunk,   
there is no reason for our clothes

we take a bath and lie down facing each other,   
then later we turn over, finally you come

we face each other and talk about childhood
as soon as I touch your penis I wind up coming

you stop by in the morning to say hello
we sit on the bed indian fashion not touching

in the middle of the night you come home   
from a nightclub, we don’t get past the bureau

next day it’s the table, and after that the chair
because I want so much to sit you down & suck your cock

you ask me to hold your wrists, but then when I   
touch your neck with both my hands you come

it’s early morning and you decide to very quietly   
come on my knee because of the children

you’ve been away at school for centuries, your girlfriend   
has left you, you come four times before morning

you tell me you masturbated in the hotel before you came by   
I don’t believe it, I serve the lentil soup naked

I massage your feet to seduce you, you are reluctant,   
my feet wind up at your neck and ankles

you try not to come too quickly   
also, you dont want to have a baby

I stand up from the bath, you say turn around   
and kiss the backs of my legs and my ass

you suck my cunt for a thousand years, you are weary   
at last I remember my father’s anger and I come

you have no patience and come right away
I get revenge and won’t let you sleep all night

we make out for so long we can’t remember how   
we wound up hitting our heads against the wall

I lie on my stomach, you put one hand under me   
and one hand over me and that way can love me

you appear without notice and with flowers   
I fall for it and we become missionaries

you say you can only fuck me up the ass when you are drunk   
so we try it sober in a room at the farm

we lie together one night, exhausted couplets
and don’t make love. does this mean we’ve had enough?

watching t.v. we wonder if each other wants to   
interrupt the plot; later I beg you to read to me

like the Chinese we count 81 thrusts   
then 9 more out loud till we both come

I come three times before you do
and then it seems you’re mad and never will

it’s only fair for a woman to come more   
think of all the times they didn’t care

By Bernadette Mayer, from A Bernadette Mayer Reader, copyright © 1968 by Bernadette Mayer. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.

Source: A Bernadette Mayer Reader (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1992)

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Poet Bernadette Mayer b. 1945

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

SCHOOL / PERIOD Language Poetry

Subjects Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Desire

Holidays Valentine's Day

 Bernadette  Mayer

Biography

An avant-garde writer associated with the New York School of poets, Bernadette Mayer was born in Brooklyn, New York, and has spent most of her life in New York City. Her collections of poetry include Midwinter Day (1982, 1999), A Bernadette Mayer Reader (1992), The Desire of Mothers to Please Others in Letters (1994), Another Smashed Pinecone (1998), and Poetry State Forest (2008). Known for her innovative use of language, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Desire

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

SCHOOL / PERIOD Language Poetry

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