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for Adrienne Rich

Looking for the Secret

Mamo__a__story_of_geraldine_plunkett_dillon_by_isolde_obrolchain_carmodyby Isolde ÓBrolcháin Carmody06 Feb 2014

I want to know the secret.
If I turn these pages fast enough,
I’ll get to the end
Will it say then
I know you did, Adrienne.
But you still won’t tell me the secret.
I want it to be then now -
Then, when I’m finished,
So I know.
But meantime,
Each page-turn
Effects a sip of tea
A shift in position
A plumping of cushions
A wipe with a hanky
Because with each long exhalation
There must be a pause
Time for breath
There’s all that white space
You want it to be there
So that I get drawn in
As the words gather force
To shoot upwards and outwards
A shower of stars
Then a sigh of relief
And the page can be turned.
But I still don’t know the secret.
I’ll know it when I find it
It will infuse my body
Releasing in me a thousand fireworks
Explosive pleasure popping through all my nerves
A hiss of air drawn in
And a shaking sigh of pleasure.
This is what shall be revealed from between your quiet pages
As their rustling draws apart to whisper a single word -
That is all I desire from you, lover-poem.