Geisha: portrait in a hot tub

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Curled on the wooden edge

of a damp and frothy hour,

white as a geisha, wrapped,

like a towel, around Wonder

drowsy with hunger I try

to add us up

by the random sum of his parts.

The knobbly knees,

the toes like crickets,

lax, irrelevant; the fingers

rolled, the eyelids

curled, the eyebrows

odd, imported, as if from

some blurred and ginger Manchu dynasty.

O timid Samurai,

those lips of softened, melted wax

that scholar's face

so delicate and

brutalised

does not explain

the way you ruffled

my shy idiocies, dug up

my trilobite passions,

knelt, and brought

hot tea to my heart --

stayed

to see I drank it.

First Prize, Benicia Love Poetry Contest, 2009

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