Often the lovers never even touch:
merely to glimpse a throat is much too much.
Should sleeves or fingers brush, someone may swoon
and someone storm, glowering, out of the room—
or both may startle, right themselves, and each
withdraw to contemplate the out-of-reach.
They guard their thoughts and eyes. They blush and tremble.
Finding themselves adjacent, they dissemble
into an agony of repartee
stirring as any stolen kiss. And we
now find them silly, farcical, or sad,
and shake our heads at their benighted, mad
abstention which seems oddly close to fear—
as if love could be savage or severe.
Jane Greer edited Plains Poetry Journal (1981-1993), an advance guard of the New Formalism movement. Her poetry collections include Love like a Conflagration (2020) and The World as We Know It Is Falling Away (2022), both from Lambing Press. Greer gave a weeklong series of readings in Pittsburgh, Steubenville, and St. Paul last fall. She lives in North Dakota.
Also by Jane Greer (see all)
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- “The beloved spectator who is myself”: Mary Jo Salter, Socially Distanced - September 21, 2022
- “What Is There I Will Not Let Go?”: Two New Books by Rachel Hadas - May 22, 2022