Joan Stuart Ross  © 2005 All Rights Reserved

Sinner, Donít You Weep

This was before shame, before the word
for nakedness. The world was little matter.

We were just two bodies in the night.
In that old place death was no more

brutal than the sea I dove in everyday. I was light
floating over water. There was no word yet

for soiled. Salt jeweled my skin and I
sucked the dark taste of my pleasure.

Do not tell me you do not understand.
I have seen your eyes lap, known your skin

to swallow what anotherís skin has shed.
I have watched you drink a body. Do not

tell me you are innocent of hunger. Desire
is the flesh, the fruit you cry for every night.

Camille Dungy
Copyright © 2005

 

Camille Dungy, author of the forthcoming What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison (Red Hen Press 2006), has received fellowships and awards from organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts, The Virginia Commission for the Arts, Cave Canem, The American Antiquarian Society, and the Bread Loaf Writerís Conference. Her work has appeared in the Missouri Review, the Southern Review, Mid-American Review, the Crab Orchard Review and online at www.fishousepoems.org. Dungy lives in Lynchburg, Virginia where she serves as Associate Professor of English at Randolph-Macon Womanís College.


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