“Be Mine,” “Premium Assortment,” and “The Past and Her Muse: a Blazon”

In Issue 22 by Christy Sheffield Sanford

be mine

Be Mine

I linger over plump, plush, push-up-bra valentines,

those with glitter and bling, iridescent textured papers,

laser-cut-love in plastic, wood, flammable, frameable

rice paper, limited-edition fabrications to rival-any third

world butterfly. Cards as big as a menu in a decadent

Antoine’s or Galatoire’s of 1960s New Orleans. Will

this memento salve an indiscretion?

Do I want one of these methods and materials seduction

samplers. Some of them smell. Is that Chloe’s Nomade

which exudes a faint odor of sweet sweat glands, under

tones of an oasis of designer drinks. Drink-me parfum

de him or her. Grow strong for the camel trek across the

Sahara. The beast stores up water from the well for those

months you will miss him.

The subliminal reality of blood red promises, clandestine

exchanges in kitchens and tubs – even if it’s in your house

and you’re both available. Baby, excuse me while I move

to a separate bed, room, house, state because you’re so

irresistible. I can’t help but want-want-want you, and I have

serious work to do, which is why you might want to select

one of those added-value

musical valentines. A post-coital lullaby to calm the doubts,

erase the trailing scent of burning rubber.

Premium Assortment

Black Beauty Roses hammered in repoussé tin. Diagonal

Miss America banner promises interior treasures. Rip that

off. Pry apart. What have we here? Case of the vanishing

chocolates. Bonbons spaced like a blueprint of houses

meeting wide setback rules. Creams that should melt in

the mouth, stick to the teeth.

Give me the red-pleated satin number with gold cordite lock.

I want to wear the box as bustier. Like a cabinet, it’ll swing

open for les invités to choose a cacao-wrapped elixir of love.

This is a spin-off of Valie Export’s “Touch Cinema.” She

wore a wooden box strapped to her chest. Passersby pulled

aside a curtain, reached in, fondled her breasts.

Flecks of brittle nibs hang suspended in truffles. Did kisses

I blew over the batch ever reach you? Do they linger –

a refrain snatched from the ether, grazing your lips over

and over. Taste me as you lick a smear of chocolate from

your fingers, decadence dissolving on your tongue.

We do what we can to educate masses of potential lovers,

feed the hungry and ease suffering.

The Poet and Her Muse: a Blazon

Whenever my heart pounds, parts of my lover spring to mind. From far away, he emails me

nudes and I admire them. Words and images move him. He demands a fantasy, I imagine making

out in cushy chairs at the Corazon. He sends me a photo of a dark corner in the theater.

I remember his buttocks soft as my dog’s ears, his member at times like a Slinky that goes up and

down stairs. Hairs of his arms a beautiful bleached blond. His eyes the green of a roiled Atlantic.

I dig dirty, military olive – so commanding. I like eyes in uniform.

I march for women and teens but in my peach bedroom, sing to a sailor’s breath spiked with the

salt of anchovies. This April spring poem is not for his nose or knees but rather for his head.

Don’t think of this as maternal or macabre.

This is a re-member-ment not dismemberment poem. A persistent chirp of praise – much as

Petrarch applauded Laura’s parts: her earlobes dangling like delicious drupes, her tiny feet in

high-heeled pumps, her bejeweled chest rising to greet his entrance.

I cradle my lover’s ovoid perfection. With fingers splayed, I explore the egg-shaped muse’s face.

De Chirico, the Italian painter, opens salubrious tubes, lubricates the canvas with his oils. The

shadowy alcoves of his classic arches provide a perfect spot for risky trysting.

My commodore might prefer a more masculine metaphor. I imagine his head as a football un-

tapered but quite tuck-able. Proudly I would carry it under my arm, like a prized French batard.

Awkward, you say? Yes, were his pompano fish fins less capable of swimming through air.

About the Author

Christy Sheffield Sanford

Christy Sheffield Sanford lives and works in North Florida near the Atlantic Ocean. She has won a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry and holds a Masters in Creative Writing and Interarts from Antioch University. Her digital animations have appeared in Amp and Atticus Review and work is forthcoming from A Room of Her Own and Open: a Journal of Arts and Letters.

Read more work by Christy Sheffield Sanford .

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