Poetry and song and maybe culture

Sunday, February 12, 2006

To Praise
by Ellan Bass


I want to praise bodies
nerves and synapses
the shudder that travels the spine
like fish darting

I want to praise the mouth
that warm wet lair where the tongue reclines
and the tongue, roused
slithering a cool path

I want to praise hands
those architects that create us anew
fingers, cartographers, revealing
who we can become
and palms, cupped priestesses
worshipping the long slow curve

I want to praise muscle
and the heart, that flamboyant champion
with its insistent pelting like
tropical rain, fierce and fast

I want to praise hair
the sweep of it, a breeze, over skin
utter softness under the soles

and feet, arch taut
stretching like cats

I want to praise the face, engraved
like a river bed, open
a surprise, like laughter

breasts, cornucopia
nipples that jump up, gleeful
like a child greeting the day

and clitoris, shimmering
a huge tender pearl
in that succulent oyster

I want to praise the love cries
sharp, brilliant as ice
and the roar that swells in the lungs
like an avalanche

I want to praise the gush, the hot
spring thaw of it, the rivers
wild with it

Bodies, our extravagant bodies

And I want to praise you, how you have
lavished yours
upon mine
until I want to praise