dive in

Evie Shockley

the body, bodies, in a pool of bedding, blue,
                                                a sea of sweat, shared ~ we each slip into some-

            one more comfortable than loneliness, than
                                                                           shame, not easy but something to do with our

                              hands, our mouths, till we can forget, let go ~
                      yet the body remembers when it was twenty-

something, thirty-something, happy to be
                                          stroking, stroked, swimming, limbs pulling,

                                                                      thrashing, toward the o of oblivion ~ these
                           positions still take the body reaching, fluttering,

     grasping, gasping, back to that timeless place, all
                  of it happening in the now, in the mind, a transit

                                                             between mind and (__)it, transport, transferring
a rage of pleasure between us ~ the outrageous

                                                  sound of this joy, the silence at center, we’re
                                                                                in over our heads ~ a body can get carried

                   away in that headiness, i did, and you with me,
                                                swept up in a wave of language and tumbled

Evie Shockley is the author of semiautomatic and the new black, both winners of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry; semiautomatic was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the LA Times Book Prize. Her publications include as well the critical study Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry. Among her honors are the Stephen Henderson Award, the Holmes National Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the American Council of Learned Societies. She is Professor of English at Rutgers University.