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This Close

Dorianne Laux
Dorianne Laux
  • In the room where we lie, light
  • stains the drawn shades yellow.
  • We sweat and pull at each other, climb
  • with our fingers the slippery ladders of rib.
  • Wherever our bodies touch, the flesh
  • comes alive. Heat and need, like invisible
  • animals, gnaw at my breasts, the soft
  • insides of your thighs. What I want
  • I simply reach out and take, no delicacy now,
  • the dark human bread I eat handful
  • by greedy handful. Eyes, fingers, mouths,
  • sweet leeches of desire. Crazy woman,
  • her brain full of bees, see how her palms curl
  • into fists and beat the pillow senseless.
  • And when my body finally gives in to it
  • then pulls itself away, salt-laced
  • and arched with its final ache, I am
  • so grateful I would give you anything, anything.
  • If I loved you, being this close would kill me.

Dorianne Laux is an American poet who grew up in San Diego. When she was a young single mother and a waitress, she began taking poetry-writing workshops and eventually moved to San Francisco and attended St. Mary’s College. She is currently Poet in Residence at North Carolina State University and also teaches for the Pacific University Low Residency MFA Program in Oregon. She is married to the poet Joe Millar. “This Close” is from Laux’s collection What We Carry, published by BOA editions in 1994, and is reprinted by permission. Author’s photo is by Jeanne Finley.

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Dorianne Laux
Dorianne Laux
  • In the room where we lie, light
  • stains the drawn shades yellow.
  • We sweat and pull at each other, climb
  • with our fingers the slippery ladders of rib.
  • Wherever our bodies touch, the flesh
  • comes alive. Heat and need, like invisible
  • animals, gnaw at my breasts, the soft
  • insides of your thighs. What I want
  • I simply reach out and take, no delicacy now,
  • the dark human bread I eat handful
  • by greedy handful. Eyes, fingers, mouths,
  • sweet leeches of desire. Crazy woman,
  • her brain full of bees, see how her palms curl
  • into fists and beat the pillow senseless.
  • And when my body finally gives in to it
  • then pulls itself away, salt-laced
  • and arched with its final ache, I am
  • so grateful I would give you anything, anything.
  • If I loved you, being this close would kill me.

Dorianne Laux is an American poet who grew up in San Diego. When she was a young single mother and a waitress, she began taking poetry-writing workshops and eventually moved to San Francisco and attended St. Mary’s College. She is currently Poet in Residence at North Carolina State University and also teaches for the Pacific University Low Residency MFA Program in Oregon. She is married to the poet Joe Millar. “This Close” is from Laux’s collection What We Carry, published by BOA editions in 1994, and is reprinted by permission. Author’s photo is by Jeanne Finley.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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