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My Muse

Robert Sward


              —"As a rule, the power of absolutely falling in love soon vanishes... because the woman feels embarrassed by the spell she exercises over her poet- lover and repudiates it..."
                          —Robert Graves, The White Goddess


"Why don't you just write a poem, right now?" she says.
'Western wind, when wilt thou blow...'
why don't you write a poem like that,
like that 'Anonymous'? Something inspirational."

"Talk about muses.
Yeats' wife was visited in her dreams by angels," I sulk,
"angels who said, 'We have come
to bring you images for your husband's poetry.'"

"Yeah? So what?" she says. "It's out of style. I already do too much for you."

     *     *    *
Odalisque in a wicker chair,
book open on her lap,
dry white Chardonnay at her side,
hand on a dozing, bewhiskered Sphinx.

"You need a muse," she says, "someone beautiful, mysterious,
some long-lost love,
                     fragile, a dancer perhaps. Look at me..."

"Yeah?" I say, refilling her glass,
"You hear me complaining? You're zaftig."
                    "Zaftig?"
             "Firm, earthy, juicy, too," I say,
"Luscious, provocative, sensual, daring..."

     *     *    *
"Juicy plum," I say, in bed, left hand over her head,
"rose petals," I say, right arm around her.
"Silver drop earrings," I murmur, ordering out
for gifts. "Aubergine scarf, gray cashmere cardigan."

I do this in my sleep. Go shopping in my sleep.
"Oh, yeah, and a case of Chardonnay."
Wake to the scent of apple blossoms,
decades in the glow of roselight.

     *     *    *
"Wake," she whispers. I tell her my dream.
We kiss. Poppy Express. Racy Red. Red Coral.
      Star Red.
            Red red.
"Enough. That's enough," she says.



Robert Sward's works copyright © to the author.


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