Hidden, wrinkled as a flush violet wedged
Humbly amid the moss, it breathes
Still wet with love that leaves
Along the gentle white curve of buttock to its edge.

Like milky tears, a flow,
Wept in a cruel wind forcing travel
Back across the russet marl and gravel
To be lost where the curve bids it go.

Often my dream with this opening has played,
My soul, jealous of the fleshly lay,
Has fashioned it a tawny reservoir, its nest of moans.

It is the enthralling olive, the seductive flute,
The burnt almond of heaven descends this chute
—Astarte of the Dews enclosed!

                —translated from the French by Michael Thomas Davis


HOME PAGE IMAGE: Yours Truly (back and front) (2018) by Francesca Colussi, FROM ISSUE NO. 233, SUMMER 2020.