Poetry by Ed Southorn

6

AT LAST

Miss Alice B. is ready for delivery

In her layers of Egyptian cotton

Polish amber hanging below

Her concealed throat

Like the flotsam on the rocks

Under the cargo wharf

She doesn’t look at him

Gleaming half naked

Muscles like wrapped rigging

He gently lifts her  

Up and over the side

A tender exotic flower

He must preserve

She is ugly, he thinks, the face  

Faintly scaled and milky like

A lizard’s belly and the lips

Dry and thin as a dead worm

He is a man after all and like all men

He must be treated, she supposes

Like a dog, carefully and with

Condescending affection

Etched against the morning horizon

The arriviste and the indigene

Aware of the possibility of disaster

Neither able to withdraw

The ship creaks and echoes

And for a moment that is all

She brushes her skirts 

Raises her eyes at last 

In a different light

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