Monday, August 08, 2005

The Night I’m Sharon Olds

Promising gin, revelers entice me
to the writers’ conference party.
People glance at my blank badge.
Giddy from martinis, I channel
letters that curl and rise through my fingers
like cigarette smoke.
Tag this self Sharon Olds.

A man with receding hair thanks me
for naming his poetry
honorable mention.
His words mount and fall
like gasps of an asthmatic.
I want to press my lips against his lips.
Breathe him into first place
and cover his body with laurel.

I list toward the featured playwright
buoyed by his circle of novices
who swoon to every syllable uttered.
He stares at my loopy famous name.
Winds his hand over my shoulder.
"Where are you now?"
I mutter In the crook of your arm
and offer him a taste of juniper.

The above poem first appeared in _The Tusculum Review_ last spring.

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