Poetry blogging: “the cave with an oracle yelling at the bottom, certainly depraved.”

From Crimes Against Nature

by Minnie Bruce Pratt


The hatred baffles me, individual, doctrinal, codified.
The way she pulled the statute book down like a novel

off the shelf, flipped to the index, her lacquer-red
lips glib around the words: crime against nature, and yes,

he had some basis for threat. I’ve looked it up to read
the law since. Should I be glad he only took my children?

That year the punishment was: not less than five nor more
than sixty years. For my methods, indecent and unnatural,

of gratifying a depraved and perverted sexual instinct.
For even the slightest touching of lips or tongue or lips

to a woman’s genitals. That means any delicate sip,
the tongue trail of saliva like an animal track quick

in the dew, a mysterious path toward the gates, little
and big (or per anum and per os), a pause at the riddle,

how tongue like a finger rolls grit into a jewel of flesh,
how finger is like tongue (another forbidden gesture),

and tongue like a snake (bestial is in the statute)
winding through salty walls, the labyrinth, curlicue,

the underground spring, rocks that sing, and the cave
with an oracle yelling at the bottom, certainly depraved.

All from the slightest touch of my lips which can
shift me and my lover as easily into a party on the lawn

sipping limeade, special recipe, sprawled silliness,
a little gnawing on the rind. The law when I read it

didn’t mention teeth. I’m sure it will someday if
one of us gets caught with the other, nipping.


One Response

  1. That is soooooooooooooooo beautiful. You always post the most exquisite poetry, child.

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