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Glass of Water Encounter

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She dances only in her necklace,
scotch-lit surely. He touches his glasses.

Nightie-less, dugs whipping, hair sprung,
some music inside, out, wet tongue

tip at her lip, no mere palsied shuffle,
both bony feet lifted, elbows awful.

Shakespeare’s banshee of wailing parts,
a woman with hair, a woman with warts.

He’s fixed to the floor. Dear Heloise:
do other presumed-sane mothers do this—

wait in the dark after the ball
to strip for their sons at the end of the hall?

A dream, insists his sister
but his first wife knows better.
Source: Poetry (October 2009)

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This poem originally appeared in the October 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

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Glass of Water Encounter

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