Whatever a classic beauty was, he’d have to say
she wasn’t. Whatever a well-bred lady does
he’s very sure she doesn’t: wouldn’t, couldn’t.
She’s a scheme he summons now and then –
though often enough: every seventh dream or so.
She isn’t there to soften or be softened into
acquiescent pet – she’s there to test his mettle –
see what stuff he’s made of now. He’s told
his therapist about her – what the fix feels like
she puts him in – sharp mix of fear and lust –
a tug-of-war between their eyes, his fragile trust –
the prize of cheeks he wants to touch, lips to kiss,
tricks she plays. He weighs the silences his therapist
can be relied upon to wield: sure he sees
the dreamer’s psychic field of blood-red poppies
that the dreamer won’t confess he wants to pick,
but picks. The therapist has worked it out.
No psychoanalytic doubt about this dominatrix.
Perhaps. But not quite whom this dreamer dreams.
She’s stranger than she seems. If they were on
opposing baseball teams (as he occasionally dreams),
he the pitcher, she at bat: she’d bunt – to tease him,
see how much he wanted it, how clumsily he’d run
to it – to watch his awkward fall as he again
missed catching it. She’ll not deride, she will
affectionately laugh: invade him like a patch
of pleasurable rash. Oh, how he loves scratching it!