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Sample Poems by Stacia M. Fleegal


Shape-Shifter
 
When a woman puts on a disguise,
will you say she is or isn’t
who she was before it?
 
Some will say she is;
the disguise disguises her,
but she is there.
 
Some will say she isn’t;
the disguise is the new her,
and she now is it.
 
Who of you will say she is
neither, someone new?
Woman Who Puts on Disguises.
 
Or who will say she is
all of them?  Who will
say a woman can be everything?


Anatomy of a Kiss
 
The way a foot plants itself on the bed
for leverage to slide closer, or the elbow
which bears the brunt so the back can arch
how it wants to—the anatomy of
a kiss is more than mouths, more than cashmere
wrapped around what wants to be unwrapped,
even more than a satin tongue tracing
the bite about to be taken because
the neck’s what swivels it into place, makes it all
possible, is the starting point of
the body-wide undulation desire pulls
from hot breath, stretching it into a long sigh.


The Avocado
 
Green, but not ready—
squeeze the black ones,
skin speckled like Braille:
pick me, pick me.
 
I mashed one in lemon
juice, garlic salt, forked
a bite for you.  The seed
abandoned with the peelings.
 
No knife sharp enough
to peel from my mind
the way you first tasted it,
thoroughly and long.
 
You liked it.  You relished
the whole thing, your
calloused hands grabbed more,
cradled them like breasts,
 
sliced another, spoon-scooped
right from the rind until
the seed rolled in its skin
like a universe.
 
I could’ve spoiled
waiting for you to examine
the hard crux of the fruit, waiting
for you to pick me, pick me.


Bare Bones 
 
The sheet between us dampens, and this
is no metaphor: our inhibitions
have fallen so low, we kick them
under the bed like muddy shoes.
 
Cotton doesn’t breathe, after all.
We suffer overhead light,
Kentucky’s mortal humidity,
the brink of merging, then…not,
 
for two bodies will only ever be
two bodies, in motion, at rest,
in utter, gutsy, fist-bitten desire.
We pummel our rebellion,
 
you put your hands into my
sides, grasp my ribs, bear down—
we bypass flesh, hold tight
to what even the dead possess.