SHANN PALMER

 

Not by the Book

It's white paint on hospital walls,
sterile, clean, no distinction between
corners, ceilings- depth indeterminate,
distance imperceptible, all's well
in the openness of a waiting room.

First kiss perfunctory, patient,
lip-to-lip, eyes open, strange
arms in proper places-
cotillion and Arthur Murray
taught us this: observe the form.

Draw back, unbutton her crisp shirt,
slip Talbot skirt slowly to the floor,
white lace lingerie is soft, sensible,
she stands before you, shoes and silk.
You want her now, like this, quiet,

waiting for direction, lilac-scented.
Place your hand over her heart, feel
her skin warm to your touch, lead her
to your room, if you ask, she will
undress you, slowly: instruct her.

Go by the book, one she didn't write,
lay her on the bed with shoes still on,
throw her off, sit across the room,
naked, not speaking, not responding,
observe her face and gestures.

She will do what you wish, you have
aroused her by inattention, misdirection.
She is not virginal, nor are you,
there may be things she can teach you.

Above all, do not remove her shoes.