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What Gets in the Way of Love Is Love

by Jason Shinder

Irene was on her knees,
                filling her mouth
                                 with my penis

when I turned my head
                and became dizzy.
                                 When she lifted her self

away from my body,
                lay down on the sheets
                                 of the mattress,

she pushed a pillow over the bed
                with one hand.
                                 The first time,

she took my hands
                and showed me
                                 the dark, fluttery grass

between her legs.
                The fuzzy orange perfume
                                of her vagina

burned straight up
                in my nostrils.
                                Two, perhaps three, times

I thought I had an erection
                and she opened her legs
                                and I leaned forward

and my penis began to soften,
                go away.
                                She always took out

two glasses of water
               but I never raised one
                               to my lips.

Once she stopped me
               in the middle of the afternoon
                              and offered to remove

my clothes.
              When she pulled off
                              my underwear

I was almost her son,
             my eyes looking back
                              with the barest of color.


Jason Shinder’s second book of poems, Among Women, is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in April 2001. His other books include several poetry anthologies, the annual series Best American Movie Writing, and, forthcoming in December 2000 from Harper Collins, Tales from the Couch: Writers on Therapy. He is on the faculty of the graduate writing programs at Bennington College and the New School University. (2000)



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