i know the tune

in tune with love

i could not wait for you
all day i could not wait
i bathed in holy water
saying your name
wearing jewels for you
perfume inside my thighs
i could not
i could not wait for you
there were wildflowers in my eyes
a sexual haze of butterflies
even before you came
did you know then
all i wanted was to kiss you
there forever

in the greenness of this day
will you remember
if i mark it with a cross?
this is where we were
in heaven we were here
will you remember
this mouthful of sweetness
the fan whirring loudly
while chavela sang a tune
tócame aquí
and i did
with fingers and tongue and fragrant oil
while you danced in me deeply
the breeze lifted the curtain
and love came quietly
as i buried my face in
the dark hair of you
breathing your skin
sweet sustenance
september green
i know the tune
michèle voltaire marcelin

*The poet Octavio Paz has written: “The agent that provokes both the erotic act and the poetic act is imagination. Imagination turns sex into ceremony and rite, and language into rhythm and metaphor.”

view and listen to a live performance of “i know the tune.”


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