What She Said -

Kalittokai 55

" O your hair, " he said,
" it's like rainclouds
moving between
branches of lightning.
It parts five ways
between gold ornaments,
braided with a length of flowers
and the fragrant screwpine.

" O your smiles, your glistening teeth,
words sheer honey,
mouth red as coral,
O fair brow,
I want to tell you
listen, stop and listen, "

he said, and stopped me.

Came close,
to look closer
at my brow, my hands, my eyes,
my walk, my speech,
and said, searching
for metaphors:

" Amazed, it grows small, but it isn't the crescent.
Unspotted, it isn't the moon.
Like bamboo, yet it isn't on a hill.
Lotuses, yet there's no pool.
Walk mincing, yet no peacock.
The words languish, yet you're not a parrot, "

and so on
On and on he praised my parts
with words gentle and sly,
looked for my weakening
like a man with a net
stalking an animal,

watched me
as my heart melted,
stared at me
like a butcher at his prey,

O he saluted me, saluted me,
touched me O he touched me,
a senseless lusting elephant
no goad could hold back.

Salute and touch,
and touch again he did,

but believe me, friend,
I still think he is not really

a fool by nature.
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