Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Elizabeth Smither, "Lipstick stain on a poem"

Elizabeth Smither

Lipstick stain on a poem

I’m reading a Smalltown Dance
and the folding by women of sheets.
Somehow I leave a lipstick trace in the margin.

Fetch the soft white rubber and rub at
the sheet’s corner so the blood-like trace of a lip
doesn’t mar its hemmed border

and step back again, undistracted by
a night stain, a small map of love
the mouth that kissed the lipstick off

into the order of the poem: the stanzas
making their orderly dance as the sheet is taut
between the lines and the brought-together edges.

Elizabeth Smither has published 17 collections of poetry and was New Zealand poet laureate 2001-2003. She was awarded the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement in Poetry 2008. She also writes short stories and novels.

RECONFIGURATIONS: A Journal for Poetics & Poetry / Literature & Culture,
http://reconfigurations.blogspot.com/, ISSN: 1938-3592, Volume Three (2009): Immanence/ Imminence

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