Studies for a Poem About Seduction

by Jill Leininger

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I. Milkpod

Indiscriminate tips.  Poised on letting go,
the fibrous innards loosen and expel

their white breath with the wind: come
and rest, the marsh’s willing

hush will tuck you in.

II. Wool

Walking through the gift shop full
of blankets for other people’s children,

the little animals fascinate us

and you wish aloud for someone to whom
you could give the lamb,

glancing at my belly, which shows
for no good reason

other than to make
you look.

III. Nest

Settle in.  There is a cup to hold
everything.  Yet,

you’re determined to cast more—
as if to say that the possibility of containing

more made more.  My urge
to take you into nature

distracts you from your task,
though never enough;

you’re gathering weeds.

IV. Country

It’s the day of daylight savings,
foreign to you

and your country.  Rocking
on the library veranda, you finger

the Chinese poet’s five-beat bliss.
The sun is on the meadow

and I recognize the name
Lushan, which is closer to you

than this. It’s as if we’d swallowed
that hour, waiting

happily, finding excuses to climb
the green silence.

Is this the country? you ask.  By that time,
I’d have said yes to anything.

Recent poems have appeared in Shenandoah and Circumference , and are also forthcoming in Rivendell this year. Jill Leininger lives and works at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT.

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