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Linda Ann Strang – Ⅰ

Mahogany Handling 




How human touch, wears down wood –

hands, and buttocks even.


Though gentle as woodstars,

caresses and rubbings


leave the arms and legs of hardwood -

imbuia, mahogany, teak –


slim as the limbs of hamadryads

or bleached bird bones on a beach,


angels to woody thinness

beat. There’s a shaping poetry


in the unconscious everyday of hand

and second hand. Fingers


giddy as eagres change the coastline

of furniture like any force of nature:


inlaid work takes on a more delicate

air – curling waves of newborn tsunami hair;


ingrained whispers of mother of pearl;

colours of cameo, old gold locket,


the sepia shoulders of a wide-eyed girl.

So I can only wonder what power


and weather pattern your nipple wields

as it brushes against my cheek. Your glans


surely fashions me – impressionable

mahogany – forming the lusty intaglios


in the vagina’s secret patina. Daily

we find the yield of the womb’s honeycomb


in one another, tamer than imbuia  –

your thigh and my kiss like love and teak.