National Poetry Month Day 25: “Inner Flamingo” by Sandra Beasley


Inner Flamingo

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At night my body discovers
her secret geometries—
inner-flamingo knee hitch,
inner-flamenco arm arch,
Hermes’ diagonal of flight
across the mattress.

The sleeping body is selfish.
The sleeping body cannot lie.

Once there was the man
from whom I always woke
huddled at the bed’s edge.
Then there was a man who
laid his lust as a doorknocker
at the small of my back.

The first time I laid down
with you—sweat-stuck,

each onioned in the skin
of the other—I assumed
the unconscious hours
would peel us free. Yet
when sun cracked its eye
over the horizon, we were as

we’d been. And the pink of me
cocked her head, listening.

-Sandra Beasley

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Sandra Beasley is the author of I Was the Jukebox, winner of the 2009 Barnard Women Poets Prize, selected by Joy Harjo and published by W. W. Norton. Her debut, Theories of Falling, was selected by Marie Howe as winner of the 2007 New Issues Poetry Prize. Beasley’s essays have been featured in the Washington Post Magazine, Oxford American, and the Wall Street Journal. In 2011, Crown published her memoir Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, a cultural history of food allergies. In Spring 2013, she is serving as the writer-in-residence for Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, NC.

Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →