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Richard Foerster

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by this poet

What was given came without 
the usual reasons—the earth

that day having completed
no meaningful circuit of the sun.

The giving should have been cause enough 
for surprise, or that hidden beneath

patterned folds of wrap, within 
a box large as any man's bewilderment,

waited some unknown thing, purchased
For all the bother, it's the peeling away
we savored, the slow striptease
toward a tender heart—

how each petal dipped in the buttery sauce
was raked across our lower
teeth, its residue

less redolent of desire than sweet restraint,
a mere foretaste of passion,
but the scaly plates

piled up like potsherds in a