(we begin officially on May 1)

Self
- Marilyn Hacker

I did it
differently:
moistened two
fingers in my mouth,
touched
with curiosity,
desire, what I’d
squeezed spasms from before
to get to sleep.
As I would touch an
other’s
fullness, blood-ripe
(I was from dreaming
her pleasure
pleasuring
me), I felt
myself, touched
what she would touch me
to, what I
treasured (unexamined),
and ignored.
Velvety, floriform
animal breathes
body-wet like a parched
snail, water;
still, dry,
slicked to a bearing
rolls in place
rooted
where I learned to love
entering; am entered.
Pleasure connects
those parts, nerves whose duty is delight:
a self-contained utopian
dialogue on the beautiful: quin-
tessentially human.

(from Going Back to the River)