Becoming Light

Becoming Light by Erica Jong Read Free Book Online

Book: Becoming Light by Erica Jong Read Free Book Online
Authors: Erica Jong
twigs on the dining room table,
    leaving mother furious on the dining room table:
    picked clean.
    Bare ruined choirs
    where late the sweet.
    A pile of pits.
    18
    Adam naming the fruit
    after the creation of fruit,
    his tongue tickling
    the crimson lips of the pomegranate,
    the tip of his penis licking
    the cheeks of the peach,
    quince petals in his hair,
    his blue arms full of plums,
    his legs wrapped around watermelons,
    dandling pumpkins on his fatherly knees,
    tomatoes heaped around him in red pyramids…
    peach
    peach
    peach
    peach
    peach
    he sighs
    to kingdom come.

The Man Under the Bed
    The man under the bed
    The man who has been there for years waiting
    The man who waits for my floating bare foot
    The man who is silent as dustballs riding the darkness
    The man whose breath is the breathing of small white butterflies
    The man whose breathing I hear when I pick up the phone
    The man in the mirror whose breath blackens silver
    The boneman in closets who rattles the mothballs
    The man at the end of the end of the line
    I met him tonight      I always meet him
    He stands in the amber air of a bar
    When the shrimp curl like beckoning fingers
    & ride through the air on their toothpick skewers
    When the ice cracks & I am about to fall through
    he arranges his face around its hollows
    he opens his pupilless eyes at me
    For years he has waited to drag me down
    & now he tells me
    he has only waited to take me home
    We waltz through the street like death & the maiden
    We float through the wall of the wall of my room
    If he’s my dream he will fold back into my body
    His breath writes letters of mist on the glass of my cheeks
    I wrap myself around him like the darkness
    I breathe into his mouth
    & make him real

Walking Through the Upper East Side
    All over the district, on leather couches
    & brocade couches, on daybeds
    & “professional divans,” they are confessing.
    The air is thick with it,
    the ears of the analysts must be sticky.
    Words fill the air above couches & hover there
    hanging like smog. I imagine
    impossible Steinberg scrolls,
    unutterable sounds suspended in inked curlicues
    while the Braque print & the innocuous Utrillo
    look on look on look on.
    My six analysts, for example—
    the sly Czech who tucked his shoelaces
    under the tongues of his shoes,
    the mistress of social work with orange hair,
    the famous old German who said:
    “You sink, zerefore you are,”
    the bouncy American who loved to talk dirty,
    the bitchy widow of a famous theoretician,
    & another—or was it two?—I have forgotten—
    they rise like a Greek chorus in my dreams.
    They reproach me for my messy life.
    They do not offer to refund my money
    & the others—siblings for an hour or so—
    ghosts whom I brushed in & out of the door.
    Sometimes the couch was warm from their bodies.
    Only our coats knew each other,
    rubbing shoulders in the dark closet.

Here Comes
    ( a flip through BRIDE’S )
    The silver spoons
    were warbling
    their absurd musical names
    when, drawing back
    her veil (illusion),
    she stepped into
    the valentine-shaped bathtub,
    & slid her perfect bubbles
    in between
    the perfect bubbles.
    Oh brilliantly complex as
    compound interest,
    her diamond gleams
    (Forever) on the edge
    of a weddingcake-shaped bed.
    What happens there
    is merely icing since
    a snakepit of dismembered
    douchebag coils (all writhing)
    awaits her on the tackier back pages.
    Dearly beloved, let’s hymn
    her (& Daddy) down
    the aisle with
    epithalamia composed
    for Ovulen ads:
    “It’s the right
    of every (married) couple
    to wait to space         to wait”
    —& antistrophes
    appended by the Pope.
    Good Grief—the groom!
    Has she (or we)
    entirely forgot?
    She’ll dream him whole.
    American type with ushers
    halfbacks headaches drawbacks backaches
    & borrowed suit
    stuffed in a borrowed face
    (or was it the reverse?)
    Oh well. Here’s he:
    part coy pajamas,
    part mothered underwear
    & of course
    an enormous prick
    full of

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