Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge!

Adolescence II

Although it is night,
I sit in the bathroom, waiting.
Sweat prickles behind my knees,
the baby-breasts are alert.
Venetian blinds slice up the moon;
the tiles quiver in pale strips.

Then they come, the three seal men
with eyes as round As dinner plates
and eyelashes like sharpened tines.
They bring the scent of licorice.
One sits in the washbowl,

One on the bathtub edge;
one leans against the door.
"Can you feel it yet?" they whisper.
I don't know what to say, again.
They chuckle,

Patting their sleek bodies with
their hands.
"Well, maybe next time."
And they rise, Glittering like pools
of ink under moonlight,

And vanish. I clutch at the
ragged holes
They leave behind, here at
the edge of darkness.

Night rests like a ball of fur
on my tongue.

Written by Rita Dove


Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge