Tuesday, October 22, 2013

If You Are Lucky, by Michelle McGrane

If you are lucky
you will carry one night with you
for the rest of your life,
a night like no other.
You won't see it coming.

Forget the day, the year.
It will arrive uninvoked,
an astrological anomaly.

You will remember
how every cell in your body
knew him, this stranger,

how you held your breath,
the way you searched his face.
This is how such evenings begin.

And you will be real in your skin,
bone and sinew; the way you always thought
you could be. Effortlessly.
This is how you will fit together.

His parted lips between your thighs,
your half-lit nipples darkening,
the hot-breathed arrival of desire,
the frenzied coupling
as you opened soundlessly
and the world flooded into you.

In the morning, maybe,
soon after sunrise
you will walk barefoot above a waterfall in the forest,
light-headed with the smell of sex,
laughing in your déshabillée.

You will carry
the music of this memory with you;
and from time to time,
in the small, withered hours,
your body will sing its remembering.

First published in The Suitable Girl (Pindrop Press).
Posted with the author's permission.
Editor: Rethabile Masilo

Michelle McGrane
Michelle McGrane

Michelle McGrane lives in Johannesburg and blogs at Peony Moon. Her collection, The Suitable Girl is published by Pindrop Press in the UK and Modjaji Books in South Africa. She is a member of SA PEN.

I don't know when I met Michelle, but I met her physically in London in June, 2012. Even before we talked poetry or she sat down to read, we had hit it off. Recently Michelle has been working on an important group whose aim is to expose, if not to curb, rape and sexual abuse. Some of her poems talk about love and about making love, and I thought it was fitting for such a spirit to be fighting against that very act done wrongly, and many times with disastrous consequences.

The account name on facebook is Against Rape, while the Twitter handle is @PoetsandArtists. Please support this endeavour.

Michelle's poetry is hard to pin down, and I think that's a good thing. No poem is similar to another in her book The Suitable Girl, or in her work posted many times on the Internet. I thank her for the words she writes and for granting me permission to share her poem on this forum.

Once you've read Michelle's poem please take time to enter some of the poems in the sidebar - chosen or written by our Tuesday Poets.

This week's editor: 
My name's Rethabile Masilo. I am a poet from Lesotho and live in Paris, France. It's good to be part of this poetry family. I've got a book out there (Things That Are Silent) and am working on a second one. My poetry blog is here.


Helen Lowe said...

It's so rare for overtly sexual poetry to work, in my humble opinion, and be gorgeous and sensuous, as opposed to coy or prurient -- but "If You Are Lucky" works wonderfully.

Thank you Lisa and Rethabile for sharing it here today.

Helen Lowe said...

I apologise, most sincerely: I don't known why I wrote "Lisa"--of course I meant Michelle, as the poet, who gave permission for her poem to appear.

Kitty Chrystal said...

Beautiful beautiful words - they really eb and flow with such passion and power. I'll definitely be reading more of Michelle's work! xx

Kathleen Jones said...

I love this, and Michelle's collection. So sensuous and honest.

Mary McCallum said...

A poem like this is like splashing cold river water on your face - blissfully honest and fresh and sensuous. Blown away by it and the story of the poet. Thank you Rethabile and Michelle. X

Jame said...

it's a beautiful poem!

Stephen A. Bess said...

nice tune. :)