Skip to content →


It’s summer. Eighty-five degrees.

We’ve spent all day on a blanket

in the high grass of an abandoned

cemetery. The backs of my thighs

are sunburned and tomorrow I’ll shiver

as the heat pours out of my skin.

Earlier, when I climbed onto you

for the second time, I could see

a row of headstones through the trees.

And when I rocked over you

their round and rain-worn scalps

rose into my line of sight until

I could imagine the bodies beneath them

propped up, watching us make love.

Each one of their wide skulls silently

smiled as if remembering something

sweet and fleeting, and not wanting

to tell me so. I needed to explain to them then

that my body has been a bell

that’s waited years to be rung by you.

That the cartilage grinding in my hip sockets

when I move against you makes a dust

finer than the finest semolina flour

and I pay it out from my body willingly.

That finally coming to love you

has been a hard-earned pleasure,

so that every time you enter me

I want to cry out, Bury me,

bury me. Put me in the ground.

from Beautiful in the MouthFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2010
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

Published in Keetje Kuipers Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.