Early light, the chill of souls leaving. You draw up the sheet
to cover us; the soft of musk, the body's heat
from an air pocket, nudged and wayward. The scent
of fading bleach. I give you the curl of my back, a nonevent.

Yet, all of it art. Ingres and Ingres'
Odalisque

who drapes a velvet curtain's jeweled sash
across her calf; whose hips turn in a wash
of Turkish hues. A French settee
or this bed: staging we need

to fuel our natural lives. To feel the body lift

to the extension of a kiss. The temporal shift
in calling souls home -- stomach, thighs -- like this.
A quickening in canvas or stone:
my open mouth and your inarticulate moan.



Copyright © 2006  M. B. McLatchey. All rights reserved.
Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial Award Finalist.
Published in
The Comstock Review, Fall/Winter 2006.
Odalisque