Poetry 365


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Know-Nothing, Sharon Olds

Sometimes I think I know nothing about sex.
All that I thought I was going to know,
that I did not know, I still do not know.
I think about this out of town,
on hotel elevators crowded with men.
That body of knowledge which lay somewhere
ahead of me, now I do not know where it
lies, or in the beds of strangers.
I know of sexual love, with m beloved,
but of men—I think there are women who know
men, I can’t see what it is
they know, but I feel in myself that I
could know it, or could I have been a woman
who would dare that. I don’t mean what she does
with herself, or that she would know more pleasure,
but she knows something true that I don’t know,
she knows fucking with a stranger. I feel
in awe of that, why is she not
afraid, what if she did not like
his touch, or what he said, how
would she bear it? Or maybe she has mercy on pretty much
anything a stranger would say or do,
or maybe it is not mercy, but sex,
when she sees what he is like, she enflames for that,
and is afraid of nothing, wanting to touch
stone desire, and know it, she is like
a god, who could have sex with stranger
after stranger—she could know men.
But what of her womb, tender core
of her being, what of her breasts’ stiff hearts,
and her dense eggs, what if she falls
in love? Maybe to know sex fully
one has to risk being destroyed by it.
Maybe only ruin could take
its full measure,as death stands
in the balance with birth, and ignorance with love.

07:43 pm, by sleepanddream25 notes Comments

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  5. oldtobegin reblogged this from poetry365 and added:
    one of my favorite poems.
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