width=61 height=87> Janet I. Buck
Featured Poet


Janet Buck is a six-time Pushcart Nominee. Her second print collection, Tickets to a Closing Play, was the winner of the 2002 Gival Press Poetry Award.


The Bed Jacket

Collected femininity, 
coy beneath containing flesh. 
Prudish, yes. Unpardoned whim. 
Beneath this sheath of politesse, 
I'm sure there lived some 
racy novel spinning wheels 
in crazy lit roulettes of love. 
A wild horse beneath 
a saddle's cracking years. 
A heroine with dignity, 
Godiva with her locks unpinned. 
A freer verse than sonnets ever 
tampered with, where nipples 
pushed through patted earth 
like unexpected daffodils. 
This surface chat of prettiness 
was never substance of your soul. 
And now I need your tenderness, 
your vital vial of licking lips 
to grease this gag of growing old. 

A head-on crash with grief, this is. 
I pick it up. My hands withdraw. 
I see how worms have spun its silk, 
left sprinkles of a tear-shaped pearl 
on fabric of inheritance. 
I see you there in prim repose. 
All that's left on outskirts of a memory, 
a handkerchief of ivory lace, 
initialed with a futile wish 
to have you back, to teach me grace 
when I am oxen dragging bricks 
and dying lies a pretty shade, 
all the while a prisoner, 
a burning eye of unmet sunrise 
searching for its rightful hue. 
Moon's white milk in liquid form. 
That ace against atrocity. 

Copyright 2001 Janet I. Buck

Originally appeared in Nectarzine


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