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Keeping watch, twenty years later

Night Stanzas


by Arlene Ang

In the Lion Tamer's Trailer

I barely see him in bed. Though when he enters,
the air crackles with sweat, feline stench,

sometimes blood drawn by claws. Perhaps he is
right in believing women's eyes have fangs.

In the dark, I've often begged to see his scars.
He is cautious, never hasty with the knots

around my wrists. Don't look now, he whispers
just before tightening my blindfold. Some nights

I imagine the moon waxing over his full lips.
He never smiles when there is work to be done.

My curses have shadows like incisors.
More than once I have tried to knee him where

it hurts. He deflects my advances with elbows,
threatens, If you break my concentration, I'll never

get it up. I behave then, purr against mahogany
board, the pregnant pillows. As aftersex interlude,

my legs entrap him for a long second while I mark
his body with urine. Next morning the tigers know

he'd been with another bitch, and roar wildly in
their cages. I wait for him in the trailer, pace

back and forth behind narrow windows,
my mouth ready to savor his hide at the day's end.


Tonguing the Flute

Let me contour
your flesh in mine,
leave spearmint shimmer
down the length of you.
You'll tingle,
curve your spine
with the rising wave,
swirl to white smoke
inside my mouth
and roll in
the belly-dance of tongue
until tremors close your eyes
against this rain of comets
that impregnate you
with lotus-pod drowsiness.


Confessions of a Shoe Stalker

I can tell a false Vuitton
from across the street, know
Magli by the way their stilettos
penetrate an oriental carpet.

My mouth turns dry, sandpaper.
Rorschach tests show it's
normal, I'm inclined to take
trivial pursuits seriously:

beads from summer thongs,
wanton laces of a lost sneaker,
sometimes the lascivious
buckle on a nun's black pump.

The smell of leather catches
my breath; suede brings me
down on my knees. I have
a closet full of beauties.

With my wife asleep, I turn
the lock, stroke a heel or two,
and come like the prince inside
that fabled glass slipper.

©2005 by Arlene Ang


Reader Comments

Arlene Ang lives in Venice, Italy where she edits the Italian edition of Niederngasse. Her poetry has recently been published in Lily, Oysters and Chocolate, Loch Raven Review, and 2River View. Her first full collection of poetry, The Desecration of Doves is available through Amazon and Barnes&Noble. She blogs ( because, like sex, everyone else does it.

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