Lousy poetry

Aug 24, 2004

As part of my temp job at N.C. State, I attended an announcement today to learn about an Indiana aquatics company and how it would be moving its research division to the state. One product that this company is developing is a new louse lice treatment for humans.

That got me to thinking back to Paama Island, where Erin and I regularly de-loused the students at the school, and sometimes the adults at the village nakamal. One afternoon, I returned home from Asuas Village to write a poem about cleaning the lice from a particularly beautiful young woman:

Marionette
you are bowed before me
waiting for my clandestine touch
to caress the hidden strings
of our wooden relationship.
Around us gathered are
the village women, audience
to our drama—they’ll not
see our romance though
they’ll scratch their heads
picking at what I’ve
already washed from you with my desire.
I want to stand you up, slowly
dropping beads down your
modeled face, around
your perfect molded mouth, through
your breasts so suddenly animate above
your pregnant belly.
In this delicate dance
you’re born my wife
waiting for a gentle touch
upon scalp, hair, face, shoulders
breasts, belly
baby.

Of course, Erin still chuckles when I tell her that poem was really about my fantasies of having a family with her.

Anton Zuiker

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