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Aphrodisiac Drift

Summer of bonfires in which I go swimming,

Spirit-animating breezes on which I am living

In formidable arrangements of bliss and despair,

Durably plural. I never promised I could fix it,

Derek, the mistakability of poems, words shuffling

In my head. It is midsummer again, with its steam-blaze

Atlantic sea-light and its fanatic infusions of sweet

Loss, its syllables inevitable. Make it rhythm, you said.

Your advice gave me twenty years of aphrodisiac drift.

I am swimming in the bonfire of summer in Brooklyn,

Barking at enchantments and climbing in caskets

I’ve loved. I’ve mapped a witch hunt for myself.

My crimes are too tiny and too interior to matter much.

I am a walking-awkward vernacular specific to myself.

from Forest with CastanetsFind more by Diane Mehta at the library

Copyright © 2018 Diane Mehta
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.

Published in Diane Mehta 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.