Linda Gregerson

(August 5, 1950 / Illinois)

Eyes Like Leeks - Poem by Linda Gregerson

It had almost nothing to do with sex.
The boy
in his corset and farthingale, his head-

voice and his smooth-for-the-duration chin
was not
and never had been simply in our pay. Or

was it some lost logic the regional accent
A young Welsh actor may play a reluctant

laborer playing Thisby botching
and stop our hearts with wonder. My young friend

he’s seven—touched his mother’s face last night
and said It’s
wet and, making the connection he has had

to learn by rote, You’re sad.
It’s never
not like this for him. As if,

the adolescents mouth wherever California spills
its luminous
vernacular. As if, until

the gesture holds, or passes. Let’s just
we’ll live here for a while. O

habitus. O wall. O moon. For my young
it’s never not some labored

simulacrum, every tone of voice, each
give, each
take is wrested from an unrelenting social

dark. There’s so much dark to go around (how
to be this and no other and, like all

the others, marked for death), it’s a wonder
we pass
for locals at all. Take Thisby for instance:

minutes ago she was fretting for lack of a beard
and now
she weeps for a lover slain by a minute’s

misreading. Reader, it’s
as the lion’s tooth. Who takes

the weeping away now takes delight as well,
which feels
for all the world like honest

work. They’ve never worked with mind before,
the rich
man says. But moonlight says, With flesh.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Poem Edited: Wednesday, September 14, 2011

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