A curtain of desire
obscures my view.
Obscures my way.
Obscures my path


silk ribbon

A hand that grazes my cheek
or dances along my thigh,
the feeling of silk on my skin,

the bitterness of a mistake
caught in the back of my throat.

Are we running or walking? We’re
going much too fast. I’m not
that kind of girl. I’m not
that kind of woman. I don’t
do that kind of thing. I’m not
that way. This isn’t
me speaking, this is
that bottomless pit of desire
in my stomach

Take your hand off my arm.
Put it back. Put it
somewhere else — no
not there.

Look me in my eyes. Tell me
I’ll never be yours. Tell me
my heart’s still mine. Peel back
the curtain of desire and
reveal what we already know.

(I’m yours, I’m yours,
yours, yours,

table set up for a candlelit dinner

Hail a taxi across the street. I’ll
dash across the wet asphalt and
meet you in the back. Catch us
kissing in the corners and
snatching looks during candlelit
dinners. Just don’t catch me
falling in love with you. Just
don’t catch you pushing me
beyond the pale.

You’re the best, you, you, you,

your lips

your hands

your eyes

those multicolored things

You’re the brightest, you’re the bees’ knees,
you’re everything, you’re a carnival apple,
a red balloon on a string. But kindly
get out of my way, get out of my path, get —

You, you’ve won. You devil, you hellion,
you twister of words. I’m in love with you.
Take hold of that curtain of desire and
tear it in two. Shake me, take me,
make me yours.

(Yours, yours, yours.)

woman opening a curtain, signifying the opening of the curtain of desire

If you enjoyed “Curtain of Desire,” read more poetry!

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You might especially enjoy the poem “Goddess,” which shares some themes with this poem.

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