Whereupon I Finally Understand the Allure of the Pornographic
Klimt’s nude’s bush calls
the tongue, with a higgledy-
piggledy spill of the spice rack,
the tang of a copper penny.
Legs splayed, she looks spent.
Whether I plunge into her
frothy boa or knuckle deep
in cunt is all the same to her;
her curves are paid for, thigh
and navel charcoal roundabouts
engineered for the busy traffic
of my gaze. I want to set my hands
atop the artist’s as he steers
the slopes of her pudenda.
Bothered, I busy my hips
then repair to white space.
(after Gustav Klimt, Lying Female Nude, Vienna,1914–15)
Ever the wide-eyed ingénue, I thrum to louche.
Tom Buchanan’s bulk hulks over me, pricked
by tittering from unlit corners, ice rattling
cocktail shakers, smoke in my nostrils.
He invited me here, and I came, already wet,
trailing him like fingers through condensation.
Daisy laughs, knowing what he is beneath skin.
Later, I’ll swear I also knew but didn’t care.
Anything to shuck corset and slip
into a flappers’ insouciance, and, top down,
feel the rush of wind. Later, chastened
and headachy, I’ll stack vows like unread novels
by my bedside. Anyone can fetch and obey.
Even briefly, I wanted claws.
Patrick T. Reardon