T (no first name) Wignesan
Before you go a little way, prospecting...
You, in going a little way from yourself
Have gone a long way from my gullible ilk.
« I'm trying hard not to like you, » you said
The breaths of several men surging in your nostrils
And the stench abraded in your flesh:
« You are unshaven. »
You took proper care to remember the right words:
« Why are you so far away, I cannot reach you. »
The orgasm you probably tried to fake -
Thanks for the repeated protestations -
Blew all the other exhausted noises through.
« I think it's all this lack of sleep and all that, » you said
Trapping me with your alien scents.
You have gone away more than a little from yourself.
I have felt and avoided the humiliation in your voice:
« Turn out the lights. I'm afraid
You'd never like me again. »
These are bothersome words.
Only constant repetition make them less wearisome.
One whole week you waited and watched.
One by one you chalked us down.
We fled, not so much from you
As from ourselves, not knowing which
You or the condemned flower to take:
« Why don't you tell me something about yourself.
I've said enough, » you said and came closer
Wraithed in your trapper's overflying airs.
Now that you have prospected a little
Confiscated my intimate thoughts, coaxed my ego
Applied the guileful balms which embolden
A man in bed and made of the future a promise
And turned and sighed like the unwanted thing
Now that you have preyed in my sanctuary
Gazed long in wistful silence my empty shrine
How can I let you go - take my scent
And mix it till it roots in other flesh
And wandering, I'll not know why someday
I might fret in the company of familiar strangers.
« What about the lad? » Alone and wishfully loitering
« Oh, let him toss and turn. Why shouldn't he?
He'll write better then, » you said, for once
Rippling the nimble calm embossed on feigning face
That poised flutter of your lips when words you wield
Assume a dextrous innocence
Little wonder then the sensually provoked blushes
Cross-fertilise the loping lurk of your poems.
You in going a little way towards me
Have gone a long way from yourself.
Before you go a little way prospecting
Leave leave a little of yourself in your safe.
Dedicated to F. A.
(©: T. Wignesan,1965, London; from the collection: tell them i'm gone,1983, rev.2012)
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Edgar Allan Poe
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