Influence (Wooing)

by Jan Lee Ande

I am reading John Donne, that love poem
where he addresses the sun as a busy old fool, unruly,
poking its face through windows and curtains—
a voyeur danging in the midday sky.

I close the shutters till only a lattice of sunlight
enters. On the dresser, candles break into flame
as though an acolyte touched each wick
and the room comes alive in a sputter of light.

Botticelli’s angel flies out of a gilded frame
and then drops to one knee, holding the long stem
of a lily. His skin is smooth as marble,
his breath sweet as frankincense.

My blue robe falls open to the floor.
We lie, side by side, on the silky sheets. His tongue
has stopped uttering its heavenly messages.
His lips pucker, full of sudden longing.

I make the sign of the cross, fingertips marking
the four places, the pulse in my neck thumping wildly.
The goosedown comforter loosens a few feathers
and they float, shaken from wings.

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