man of many gifts says not to be afraid.
I have feared everything so long -
as though I will the fears to sexual life,
call them from their homes, serve milky tea,
cushion them in creased and musky velvet.
Myself and satisfied fears, this proud derangement.
first time on the sand we both pretended love,
knew it was not true, that it was want and fear,
both love-forgeries. I was virgin, gold-haloed,
cursed and bleeding. That art was neither
cleansing nor transcendent.
I was surprised he wanted me again.
with every man upon the canvas, I'm amazed
to hear that catch and gasp as my hand moves
where both we want it. I've learned to use my
my mind, in this creation, soul-glorified
that men of talent choose such moments
spent with me, that they stiffen and rise
share their genius. It is a sacrament
and I the awed initiate to this renewing mystery
I do not understand. This is not casual;
it is not without knowledge of ending
in pain. Exposed, exhibited in sunlight,
its colours are both hot and brave.
Delilah Riordan, July 2000.