all love is language is love OR: ‘Untitled’

by jdavidcharles

It’s been awhile since I dared to write an erotic poem–they tend to be derivative at best and prudish at worst. But, hey, I felt one was in order. For some reason my erotic poems are always more concerned with hermeneutics than a particular person, somehow the act of love embodying the responsibility of self to other, humility (every act of love is self-denial), and yet, paradoxically, appropriation of the other and a sort of inescapable masturbatory solipsism (every act of love is an attempt to subvert the other). I am fascinated by how we traverse, fill-in, and elide this gap, usually through fantasy which is to say interpretation (hermeneutics). Suffice to say this poem–which is not my best in my mind: vague traces of Ammons, cummings, Creeley, Ferlinghetti throughout–was concerned with how we find the self in the other, other in the self, traverse the fantasy, speak meaning, interpret and deconstruct, which is, of course, all a highfalutin way of saying make love.


the way her fingers opened along
      her—no—her fingers
    opening, slowly along my body, less
              a touch than
                           countless and
                           endless distances:
                 distance of eyes,face,mouth,tongue
          of biting and holding
                     and biting,

and the distance of hands—
                    hands. and fingers. and


                      we touched
                and distance was imagination
          was buried and dead was ages past was
                then, yesterday, was what she
            didn’t wear and why she didn’t
                            and why you didn’t seem
                                         to care

      that was then, yesterday,
             but here with you beside me,
touching, and the distances, all
                    equal and beautiful, and everything,
            today, everything
                 there is no distance,
         nothing closed today, everything
                                open because
                                we are open—

       at the least,
               a sound of her,
                      and something,
        opening, slowly,