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Poetry by Carolyn Howard-Johnson 

Carolyn is the award-winning author of This Is The Place, Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered, The Frugal Book Promoter, and TracingsShe lives in California.  Visit her site.



© 2006 Carolyn Howard-Johnson




Learning About Sex When All Else Fails


Something about a snail. Born

where repression and piety

are one, without encoded nuclei.

I watch it, head wet,

body undulant

like ointment

in lava



It pushes, its antenna slow, feels

for my core, reaches retreats, evades,

his foot pink and yellow

in the coming

light. A shell

there. Curled

upon itself,



Here two hooked each to the other--each

like the other--numb, pliant

hoses, still, silent orgasms,

vacant organs.


This then.

This is all it is,

after all.





Another Day


He, transformed to coffee table art,

my centerfold man, unthreatening

paper doll, marble-pure lips soft, private

parts unassuming, soft, hands big,

perhaps, as his sculptor's. David!

My first glimpse at love. I fold

my husband's shorts that first year,

fresh from the laundry, press

their Munsing to my cheek,

then to my nose and breathe. Pale

scent of line drying. Now I could restore

that moment. I push my hips

into his early-morning warmth,

hope he will not stir, ruin

the moment, idle memories

of when he and David were chaste

Carrera, like sweet-lime

upon the tongue, pungent

in those unripe days before this life.







All work is property of Carolyn Howard-Johnson.




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