Alison Stone brings us contemporary ghazals that maintain the integrity of the original form while expanding the subject matter to include everything from pets to politics. Often funny, sometimes achingly sad, these poems take advantage of the leaps this form allows, taking the reader on a high-speed, satisfying journey through both the internal and external worlds.
We read each other by the light of sex.
Scarves, collars, make-up hide a bite from sex.
Elvis was only shown from the waist up.
Censors feared his hips would incite sex.
Women accept partners and acts they don’t
want, scared to seem uptight about sex.
Allen Grossman’s right—there’s no good term for
penis. Not dick, cock, love-wand, knight of sex.
Let’s debate about geraniums. Dispute
the shapes of clouds. Not fight about sex.
Long-marrieds try vacations, candles, porn,
desperate to break from polite sex.
Once my husband and I would have been
illegal. His tan skin, my white. Sex
sells, thrills, conquers, bonds. So many flavors!
Tender sex. Hot sex. Role-play sex. Slight sex.
Most religions cover up women, paint
men powerless before the might of sex.
How much pain will you take to get pleasure?
Tomorrow, guilt and remorse. Tonight, sex.
The drive toward sex. The shame of sex. The laws,
the lies, the chemical delight of sex.
Stop the fake nakedness, Alison.
What do you hide when you write about sex?