Ode to Pleasure

Oh pleasure

Where have you been?

Have you been waiting for me all this time?

Waiting on the side of the rural mountain highway wondering when I’ll stop to smell the sage brush?
Waiting on my lover’s sunlit bed in the afternoon?
Waiting in the cool mint mock-tail to accompany my last few working hours?

Have you been waiting in the longing of my pup’s eyes for rough and tumble or a snuggle fest?
Have you been waiting on the stage in the fingers of the mandolin picker wondering if I’ll come to hear your high strung wondering perfection?
Have you been waiting in my cheeks begging me to send corners of lips your way?

Oh pleasure, where have you been I wonder?

And you, I imagine, smile and nod, un-moved

For you’ve been here all along

In the cozy woolen blanket on my futon in the thick of mud season
In a steaming mug of vanilla hazelnut tea with coconut cream on dreary mornings
In my lovers palm as it grasps mine and we walk uncertain paths with the rest of the uncertain souls who walk hand in hand, too, just as they are, right now, in love

Even more, you’ve been right here

Behind my eyes, where I envision the way these words may be read by another


Right here, in this pink mouth where words birth and there’s buzzing of what will land next on my tongue

Right here behind my breasts–

Today I can read and follow the suggestions to “Breathe in very gently, and feel life stirring in your chest,”
When just yesterday breathing into the stirring brought fear of rupture, explosion

Never guessing it would be of you, Oh pleasure

Thank you for boiling over. Thank you doing it the way you did–gently, with kindness, not worrying about the way you’d change my plans, nor causing me to question if I could believe you

May I remember that I do not have to be good
That I do not have to walk on my knees to deserve you
That I do not have to deserve you

May I remember that you exist apart from reward and punishment
And no acquisition of power, fame, money, or love could better qualify me to know you like I do now

Quietly stirring with life in my chest
Listening to children playing freely on squeaking swing sets
Amazed that you’ve been here all along, and so have I

Oh, pleasure, we’re going to have a fine time.



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