The No was in the body all the time.
It wasn't in the line of moonlit wash
or in the stripped sleek quarry pool
or in your letters or in the talk or in the tea.
The No was in the body,
my answer in my flesh.
So that when I refused to touch you
I was saying yes
and you were drawn, supple and quiet,
toward me. If I placed my hands against your chest
and pushed away,
it was because I loved you,
it called you in. So with the other:
opposite. When I relented
and we lay all night together
dreaming each others dreams through our skin
I was saying no
and when you pressed me down beneath you
and I came around you again and again
the pulsing was not a welcome,
it was farewell. Hidden there,
under skin, the negative.
Intro 14. AWP Board of Directors Publication and Distribution Committee. 1983.