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Poets are Present is a poetry residency in conjunction with David Ives’s adaptation of The Metromaniacs. As part of this unique theatre/poetry exchange, the Shakespeare Theatre Company is proud to host more than 30 D.C.-area poets in the theatre’s lobby. Throughout the run, we will share with you the poems that this residency inspired our guests to write. Visit our Poets are Present page to see a list of upcoming poets.
Tafisha A. Edwards is a Guyanese-Canadian poet, Cave Canem fellow, graduate of the University of Maryland’s Jiminéz-Porter Writers’ House, one of Split Lip Magazine’s Poetry Editors and a former American Poetry Museum educator. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as Bodega Magazine, The Little Patuxent Review, Fledgling Rag and Stylus among other journals. She has received scholarships to the Juniper Summer Writing Institute, The Minnesota Northwoods Writers’ Conference and Cave Canem and is currently penning her first collection of poetry, Confusing the Wind.
Madame Lucille’s Contemporary Musings on Things of an Amorous Nature
By Tafisha Edwards
What is the quality of light? Of mercy? Of a man’s
body hovering closer than the breath, closer
than the pulse, closer than what is called
an electric dance of synapses but is more
a firing squad just below the skin?
How do we quantify lust, that lacy garrote,
the hand that glides beneath satin
and the manicured manners of wealth?
No answer, so I open my mouth
to the morning and invite the mist
to curl around my tongue. I open
my mouth to the morning and lose
my language, I open my mouth
to the tyranny of love, its furies,
its topography and a memory
of the night I was drunk
with the witnessing of my own
face reflected in the irises of a man.
Wanting nothing more from him
than the sweat coating his palms,
nothing more from him than
the inevitable mercy of desire.