George Bilgere


When a beautiful woman lies down
On her brown belly, on her pink beach towel,
And reaches back and behind to perform
That curious legerdemain whereby
Her dazzling white
Bikini top is undone
And she stretches out under the sun,

I continue watching the breakers
Stagger to their knees, and listen
To the gulls work through
Their chronic desolation,
Thinking, for some reason,
Of my mother, struggling
Into the cross-stitched straitjacket
Of her girdle
Before a night out with my father,

And I think of the boundless
Surge and heave of the ocean,
Swollen and unfettered
Before any man, crazed
By indifferent beauty, raised
White sails to cup
The wind's breasts
And girdle the globe.

George Bilgere, The Good Kiss, University of Akron Press, 2010.