Wednesday, 26 August 2009

sharon olds

Sex Without Love

How do they do it, the ones who make love
without love? Beautiful as dancers,
Gliding over each other like ice-skaters
over the ice, fingers hooked
inside each other's bodies, faces
red as steak, wine, wet as the
children at birth, whose mothers are going to
give them away. How do they come to the
come to the come to the God come to the
still waters, and not love
the one who came there with them, light
rising slowly as steam off their joined
skin? These are the true religious,
the purists, the pros, the ones who will not
accept a false Messiah, love the
priest instead of the God. They do not
mistake the lover for their own pleasure,
they are like great runners: they know they are alone
with the road surface, the cold, the wind,
the fit of their shoes, their over-all cardio
vascular health - just factors, like the partner
in the bed, and not the truth, which is the
single body alone in the universe
against its own best time.


Sorlil said...

I've never really got into sharon olds, but I quite like this

Niamh B said...

It's a great poem, thought provoking and beautiful, but find it so very depressing as well.

Rachel Fox said...

I've been amazed how many nasty comments and posts I've read about Olds online since she was put up for that prize recently. She really seems to upset some poet-types! And how very dare she write what she wants - the very idea is outrageous. Has she not consulted the official poetry committee of righteousness?

I like this one of hers.

apprentice said...

I like Sharon in small doses - reading a full collection leave me feeling like an overstuffed sofa.
Her recent collection about her mother's death has some great pieces in it, but it is just too much at times.

I was amazed to learn, from on online interview with her, that she publishes up to a decade in arrears.