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The Platonist's Complaint

Mary Moore



An importunate woman evokes anxiety.

So the recent rash of pleas and petulant

e-mails upset and otherwise

distemper me.  Despite my aberrant

but slight pleasure in dominance,

I prefer the shudders of romance

to pursuit.  Being swept away appeals,

although yielding is not my style

in most venues.  There’s energy in whiling

away the time between wish

and fulfillment in which I find a puckish

pleasure, and a chance for mischief

too. Imagine dressing in handerchiefs!


But hers would fall to the floor with a thud.

The obvious does not fire my blood.

I can’t tell her how little I like

the entire breast bared, how I quake

at sight of the whole pudenda

exposed.  Let the ideal transcend

the actual, the immaterial

mute the odors and oils of the real

body.  Plus, who wants their own most

importunate part vanishing post haste

into someone else’s?  I prefer shadows,

the fiction of wanting, not needing, the tease.

Besides, there’s scope in desire, the future

still open, widening, eager to please.






Mary Moore has published most recently in magazines including Connotations Press, 2river view, American Poetry Journal, Prairie Schooner, New Letters, and Nimrod.  She teaches poetry and Renaissance literature at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.


A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare. For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure. - Henry David Thoreau


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