The Lies, Example for Restraint

by Russell Evatt

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The Lies

In Sumerian poetry,
there are always lovers. 
Sometimes a deity

engaging a deity,
or perhaps a human,
who is to say?  The lover

could be king or shepherd,
answering pleas of
bring me into your chamber, O King

and accepting, as the father
takes his daughter
into his hands, a daughter

as gift.  This is not unlike
the way our bodies make decisions
for us: the sections we cover,

the portions left exposed. 
The anxious manner in which
a shirt is slipped into

just before the weary lover rises;
how I utter your name
soft enough to leave you

untroubled, your slender back,
telling me you are here,
almost revealed.

Example for Restraint

For instance, what we do with our mouths,
the parts of us we use

to touch each other, our kneeling—
                    how necessary, we think

this is all there is.  But we become older,
realize the waking we ignore to stay close

and the stretching we use to feign expansion

is limited, that distance marks
the absence of fingertips on a shoulder blade. 

And we become softer, keep to ourselves—

by now, two lovers have gone to the kitchen
for something to eat,

no longer thinking of the time
before they met but making their distance

as small as they can.  But it remains
and they will remember soon enough.

Russell Evatt has an MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He is currently living in Krakow, Poland and trying to learn Polish (which is harder than he thought).  His work has appeared in Iron Horse Literary Review, Blue Earth Review , and others.  His website/blog is krakowmigrant

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