The self       for Antigone Kefala

The bed you offered me
already had the imprint of a body
no fresh sheets or making could hide
that gentle declivity.

Nor would I have wished it.
It was a compliment really
that I could fit myself to it
one quiet slumber lying on another

and being taken into it, subsumed
(which is a favourite word) into
the slightly austere plaid cover
which was neither masculine nor feminine.




I had two plaits: one thick
an anaconda plait and the other
more like a thin grass snake.

My parting was sideways
a harvest, a rich waterfall
and a thin trickling river

but they were companionably joined
and tied with a wide ribbon
whose loops and ends were equal

the weak and the strong
were strong together, the raised segments
of hair, a wide and thin muscle

a lesson that hung down my back
so though I could not see justice
I could feel how it was distributed.

poet's biography ->