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Delaware Poetry Review

Nin Andrews

CINDERELLA
 
for my daughter, Suzanne
 
 
So tell me this.  Why did that prince want to marry
some girl, so slim she could dance in glass slippers?
And I mean, dance, not pussyfoot around.
And why is it that no maiden in the entire kingdom
ever shattered that glass shoe?  One step in
and smasho.  Now doesn't that tell you something
about women back then?  Even those mean, ugly
stepsisters . . . .  They didn't carry any weight at all.
The best were as light as milkweed with nothing
but dreams to keep them happy.  And the beautiful
were always in danger of being blown away
like kites or party balloons.  But there was one,
once upon a time and long ago . . .
There had to have been at least one
who never gazed upon her prince with silken eyes . . .
Maybe it was her scent of cinders, sweat and silt
that really turned men on and drove them wild.
So they galloped away on silver steeds, waving their lances
in the air, chanting: "Mine's bigger than yours!"
 
Because that, my love, is what men do best
and have done and will do happily ever after
until the end of time.

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~

MY INVISIBLE VALENTINE  
 
Facts off CNN, February 14

84% of Americans say they're in love this morning.  16% say they're not.  No undecideds, unlike every other poll.  People are evenly divided over whether Valentine's Day matters, though one reporter said she felt sorry for all those who have nobody to be their valentine.  Even if it's true that only 4% say the day is bad, and only 1% actually dread the date, making it more popular than Thanksgiving or Christmas.  The reporter added that over 60% of women say they would give up sex for a year for a date with Brad Pitt.  But men will never give up sex, period.  No one dares ask them to. 
 
 
But there was one man who said it's possible to make love even when you never make love.  He said it's possible to carry someone in your mind, your heart, to feel her skin across miles and years, to hear her voice when the birds stir in the trees or the dishes clatter in the sink.  To taste her mouth every time you talk, closing your own mouth into a soft kiss when you say your m's and b's, or harder kiss of your p's, every time you lick an l or nibble on an f, or a  v, every time you are lost and open in a w or an o . . . 

 
 
Okay, I admit it.  No one said this.  No one ever does.  But I am thinking of him.  The man who was not on CNN.  The man who is not here but is somewhere far away thinking of me thinking of him thinking of me.  The man who makes me one of the 84% to be envied instead of the 16% to be pitied, or instead of the woman I really am.  A man can do that to a woman.  He can change her into other things.  Even now he is tracing my skin with his lips.  He is writing my name with his tongue.  When I wrap my legs around his hips, he lifts me up and up until we drift across the sky, leaving a trail of sparks in our wake.  Sometimes we spin on the currents and eddies of airs like Frisbees.  And he tells me the secret of secrets.  His secrets are for me.  Only me, or the woman who would never give up sex for a single date with Brad Pitt.  Who will never betray her invisible man. 

~

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~

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About the Poet

Nin Andrews is the editor of a book of translations of the French poet Henri Michaux entitled Someone Wants to Steal My Name from Cleveland State University Press.  She is also the author of several books including Why They Grow Wings, Midlife Crisis with Dick and Jane, and The Book of Orgasms.  Her book, Sleeping with Houdini, is forthcoming from BOA Editions.