Ellen Bass says that poetry used to be the same as prayer or a spell.
I pray in drag, I mean in the disguise of poetry
Every pore calls out my longing for
Breath, sometimes gasping
My incantation the unhinged sound of prayer
It seems like I want to eat from your table
But my true desire is to cook food so
Delectable even you would eat letting wine dribble down your sacred chin.
To the homeless men I see on street corners
The children immigrants waiting illegally
Behind the bars of our hardness, to L.A.,
San Diego and Sao Paulo I say, Listen to the
Old women of poetry who pray hungry for intimate touch
We walk Pacific Beach with its dead seaweed and old dreams,
Inviting you to live dancing aware of the splendor of this our handmade home.
When I take off your mask, poem, you are praying
Your legs clutch at the horse of desire that carries us
Away from the past knowing that old age makes love in ways
Youth could never imagine. Opening our eyes to worlds we
Have not begun to imagine, this prayer poem is
Wanting love to show her face, to reveal how she spreasd her kisses everywhere
Just like a band of angels she too takes bodies by surprise with the
Gift of an orgasm unheard of and yet the exact image of divine consummation unveiled.