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Jeffrey Harrison: The Mount

—June 2020, Lenox, Mass.

Did they think no one could see them?

True, the house itself was closed

due to coronavirus measures,

and while the grounds were open

there was hardly anyone around.

It could have been a hundred years ago,

Wharton herself looking down from the window 

of her bedroom with an unobstructed view 

into the walled Italian garden below,

where two figures were lying together

on a grassy section of the parterre,

moving strangely. And Henry James,

a frequent guest, strolling the garden

to puzzle through a scene in which

the “action” takes place in the minds

of the characters and everything depends

on the delicacy of what is said

and not said in oblique, tortuous reference

to something that may or may not

have happened offstage, earlier,

might have been startled to glimpse them, 

as I was, through an arch in the stone wall, 

essentially fucking with their clothes on,

the blue-jeaned ass of the one on top

moving up and down, pelvis cramming

noiselessly into the rump of the one

underneath, whose vacant eye 

caught mine for an instant as I walked past,

while the jet of water in the fountain

endlessly sprang up and splashed.

Copyright 2020 Jeffrey Harrison. First published in The Common.

Jeffrey Harrison’s books include Between Lakes.

Photo by Jeffrey Harrison

One comment on “Jeffrey Harrison: The Mount

  1. Peter Connell
    March 3, 2021

    Oh! Mon Dieu ! C’est scandaleux!
    I’m kidding. Good poem.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on March 2, 2021 by in Humor and Satire, Poetry and tagged , , , , , .

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