The Limit of Literature

The first night, they read a play that goes backwards
called Betrayal

          there are times
          when I crave

The second night,
they read the final pages of Ulysses

          my mouth full
          of yesses

The third night, they read Cyrano,
in which language is love

          language is not love
          my tongue is flesh

When they read Salome, she kept begging him to kiss her,
and he kept begging her to dance for him

          the moon darkened
          and we both lost our heads

They made love in the forest after reading
the first canto of Dante's Inferno

          I followed you down
          in circles

They made love in the middle of an erotic story
then finished reading it

          you held a fistful of my hair tight in your hand,
          touched me here and here and here

She recited poems to him
when she wanted to kiss his ears

          Let me not to the marriage
          of true minds admit impediments

He read her introductory essays
and epilogues

          Love is not love
          Love is not love


Poems by Lisa Sitkin:

All Along We Were Woven
I have never
Love Poems
The Bookbinder's House, Selvole
The Limit of Literature
The Forest Cycle (excerpts)
My Grandmother's Heart
Why I Love Swimming
The Gift
Asia's Hands

TIMES TEN: An Anthology of Northern California Poets