How gentle

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by Joyce Carol Oates.

How gentle are we rising
easy as eyes in sockets turning

intimate the hardness: jaw
upon jaw, forehead warm

upon forehead
kisses quick as breaths, without volition

Love: I am luminous
careless as love's breathing

fluorescent glowing the fine
warm veins and bones

your weight,
the sky lowered suddenly

I am loved: a message
clanging of a bell in silence

you are quickened with surprise
our horizons surrender to walls

Are we wearing out
our skins' defenses? --

turning to silk, texture of flashy
airy surfaces scant as breaths?

I am loved: the noon slides gently
suddenly upon us
to wake us

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