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Rita Dove
Rita Dove
The author of numerous collections of poetry, Rita Dove served as the Poet Laureate for the United State from 1993 to 1995...
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Adolescence II

 
by Rita Dove

Although it is night, I sit in the bathroom, waiting.
Sweat prickles behind my knees, the baby-breasts are alert.
Venetian blinds slice up the moon; the tiles quiver in pale strips.

Then they come, the three seal men with eyes as round
As dinner plates and eyelashes like sharpened tines.
They bring the scent of licorice. One sits in the washbowl,

One on the bathtub edge; one leans against the door.
"Can you feel it yet?" they whisper.
I don't know what to say, again. They chuckle,

Patting their sleek bodies with their hands.
"Well, maybe next time." And they rise,
Glittering like pools of ink under moonlight,

And vanish. I clutch at the ragged holes
They leave behind, here at the edge of darkness.
Night rests like a ball of fur on my tongue.






From Selected Poems by Rita Dove, published by Random House. © 1993 by Rita Dove. Reprinted by permission of the author. All rights reserved.
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