Limerance Poem by Patti Masterman


When my body can't take it anymore
I go into the closet- not to pray, but to worship;
I kiss the complacent coat hangers there, orderly on their metallic racks,
My lips on smooth plastic; eyes closed,
All senses centered on my mouth;
Enraptured, I can't see any colors at all..

The surface doesn't soften, as I beat out my lips
Against the mild anvil; altar of pain, loving the more distant you
Somewhere on a compass that the heart knows best;
This pain is merely a devotional exercise, to take my mind
Off the fact that the hangers can't actually kiss me back.

The wool blazer has your blue eyes;
The polo shirt has some, not all, of your softness.
The shoes delicately waft a heavy, calming manly odor of leather.
The weight of the clothing leans back against me, sighing
And muffles most of my cries and exclamations

While I sway, to their soapy limerance of fabric softener and dust.
If I push far enough into them, they enclose me all around
Just like a lover's firm grasp, of aching seams and straining stitches,
Loving me soundlessly, from many directions at once.

To silent, undanced waltzes, we hang together, in furtive salute;
For they are not free, and neither am I;
But we can dream together, in the small cottony, worsted room,
For we are old friends, we have known both sunshine and rainshower together

And long, undying afternoons, of tears and questioning why.
They have known many of my beloved's names,
And I in turn have seen them both inside and out, plush and threadbare.
We have no secrets any longer; I know their every scar by heart
As well as they know mine:
I can never discard even one of their kind,
I have to keep them closer than skin.

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