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They’ve finished lunch and gone upstairs
where they begin making love, the tender
but urgent sex of a married couple
with an empty house for an afternoon.
They kiss, and he caresses her, but soon
she breaks off her soft song of pleasure
to say That’s hot, which he takes as keep going,
but really what she means is that it’s hot
as in burning, and then she asks him,
resigned panic in her voice, Did you
slice one of those serranos into the guac?
He did, he tells her, and then he realizes
the implications, tripping over his apologies,
but she tells him that stopping
makes it worse and pulls him closer
so they’re joined and he feels it too
until they move fast enough, it seems,
to outrun the pain, and they’re laughing
between breaths and moans—laughing at the pain
they know will be there when they stop.
Copyright 2023 James Davis May. From Unusually Grand Ideas (Louisiana State, 2023).
James Davis May is a 2021 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in Creative Writing and the author of two poetry collections, Unquiet Things and Unusually Grand Ideas. Originally from Pittsburgh, he now lives in Macon, Georgia, where he directs the creative writing program at Mercer University. He is married to the poet Chelsea Rathburn.
Well, damn. Married love, y’all ☺️
Well, damn. Married love, y’all 😏
Such a perfect Valentine for married love: regularity, heat, and laughter.
HA! Thanks, Dinah.
Cute! I’ll add peppers to my grocery.
I’m sure more than one of us has to laugh about this without having to explain…..
Have you been into the peppers again, Mel?
As I wrote…..”without having to explain.”……LOL. And I’ll pass on the more than obvious chance to get really obscene about your “get into the peppers again…”
I appreciate your modest restraint, Mel.
A wonderfully funny and light hearted poem that puts a whole new spin on the noun caspicum.
Well said, Bob!
James and Chelsea will be coming here in April to do a program with David Kirby and Barbara Hamby: “Tying the Knot—When Poets Marry” and so you can see this poem is right along the lines of our theme!
We’re very pleased to be hosting them all.
Sounds like a great event, Sean!
Oh you bet Michael! I wish I’d said the where and when in my reply. It’s all laid out on line at LRJF.org