debutante blues


Li Min Hua


It was the silence that
     turned my morning voice
     to the vagueness of one
     who wants to forget.

Had I been insincere merely
     because a disturbing desire
     to touch you had possessed me
     since first I saw. . . .

Eyes, which had always,
     even when you were my student,
     mandated honesty like those of
     mother asking for the "real" reason,
     even now when no mother could understand
     the loneliness that was mine to confess.

lips, wetly reminiscent of childhood
     afternoons, when I liked to play
     with my tongue on spoons of peanut
     butter in a warm parlor, alone.

Not that I touched,
But that I touched in silence
     --without warning, drunk?
     awakened suddenly?--

It was the silence that
     turned my morning voice
     to the vagueness of one
     who wants to forget.


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