29: Our Dead Friend

29: Our Dead Friend

29: Our Dead Friend

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Our Dead Friend

by Alicia Suskin Ostriker

Our dead friend used to say
when she reached menopause
the swamp cleared from her mind

the sun shone brightly
for the first time since girlhood
she could think clearly

things were outlined as if in lights
a dog was a dog and a man
was only a man


Imprisoned in the arms
of Eros you relax you blur
you have no will of your own

almost anything
can make you tingle with delight
music art nature kisses touch

the wetness the pulsing
every glance a sort
of soft bullet she said


How true and what a fool
I made of myself
all those years

well we all did, you and I
honey we were like those lab mice
that will step on the pedal

that gives them those thrills
not eating not stopping
until they die


Now when I look at my body
under the spell of gravity
I have to laugh

Oh my god the way we all lined up
like a fleet of taxis at a red light
just waiting and racing our motors

what a joke sex is, though without it
no avenue to paradise
no human glue


“Our Dead Friend", from THE BOOK OF SEVENTY by Alicia Suskin Ostriker. Copyright © 2009 by Alicia Suskin Ostriker. Used by permission of University of Pittsburgh Press.