Today's poem is by Nicky Beer

The Exquisite Foreplay of the Tortoise

Every movement of my body
is a genuflection to stone,
my flesh a chalice for dust,
which is itself the dry ghosts of flesh.

It is true that I have had
my dalliances with the odd
toadstool, the bulbous contours
of their weeping bride-heads,

but oh my love, consider
the rare patience of my desire,
the readiness with which my body
greets you, the anticipation

born in my clay heart
twenty-five years before
I could gaze over the horizon
of your skull, my two legs

trembling on your back
like a ship-born boy's
on his first beach, terrified
he will drown in this strange earth.

for Brian

Copyright © 2010 Nicky Beer All rights reserved
from The Diminishing House
Carnegie Mellon University Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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