I like that room,
the warm one with the machines
where the woman folds her shed skins.

I hang in the broken ceiling, watching her,
barely distinguishable
from the cold water pipe
and the coiled power cable.

I watch her all winter:
her longlegged hands,
the glinting needles of fur at her nape,
her red warmness
drifting in mammaly billows.

And now I show myself;
Pour my flickering head
into her sac of air,
and slowly, willed against her own will,
her face rises like a rising moon
opening palely into mine,

and in the wide O’s of her eyes,
I see myself; my head like a big cut jewel,
the little watch-jewels of my eyes, yes,
my tongue the alive nerve of a rock,
and I feel her want,
a yearning almost,
as though for something already about to be lost,

and I offer myself.

James Lasdun


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