Ants on the Melon: A Collection of Poems

Ants on the Melon: A Collection of Poems

by Virginia Adair

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375752292
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/01/1999
Series: Modern Library Series
Pages: 158
Sales rank: 350,746
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.25(d)

About the Author

Virginia Hamilton Adair was born in 1913 in New York City. Educated at Kimberly, Mt. Holyoke, Radcliffe, and the University of Wisconsin, she taught briefly at Wisconsin, William & Mary, and Pomona College, and for many years at California Polytechnic University at Pomona. She passed away on September 16, 2004.

Read an Excerpt

Now You Need Me

When the rains come you remember our old closeness humping along in the wet.
You grope the dark where I hang morosely by my crooked neck.
You pull off my cover shake me till my ribs jingle and a moth flies out.
Your hand reaches under my black skirt and up one leg thin as a cane until I open wide with a rusty squawk hovering above you like a dark and loving raven, said the old umbrella, her night full of holes.


Peeling an Orange

Between you and a bowl of oranges I lie nude
Reading The World's Illusion through my tears.
You reach across me hungry for global fruit,
Your bare arm hard, furry and warm on my belly.
Your fingers pry the skin of a naval orange
Releasing tiny explosions of spicy oil.
You place peeled disks of gold in a bizarre pattern
On my white body. Rearranging, you bend and bite
The disks to release further their eager scent.
I say "Stop, you're tickling," my eyes still on the page.
Aromas of groves arise. Through green leaves
Glow the lofty snows. Through red lips
Your white teeth close on a translucent segment.
Your face over my face eclipses The World's Illusion.
Pulp and juice pass into my mouth from your mouth.
We laugh against each other's lips. I hold my book
Behind your head, still reading, still weeping a little.
You say "Read on, I'm just an illusion," rolling
Over upon me soothingly, gently moving,
Smiling greenly through long lashes. And soon
I say "Don't stop. Don't disillusion me."
Snows melt. The mountain silvers into many a stream.
The oranges are golden worlds in a dark dream.


One Ordinary Evening

Lying entwined with you on the long sofa

the hi-fi helping
Isolde to her climax

I was clipping the coarse hairs

from your ears and ruby nostrils

when you said, "Music for cutting nose wires"

and we shook so the nailscissors nicked

your gentle neck blood your blood

I cleansed the place with my tongue

and we clung tight pelted with Teutonic cries

till the player lifted its little prick

from the groove all arias over

leaving us in post-Wagnerian sadness

later that year you were dead

by your own hand blood your blood

I have never understood
I will never understand.


An Hour to Dance

For a while we whirled over the meadows of music our sadness put away in purses stuffed into old shoes or shawls

the children we never were from cellars and closets attics and faded snapshots came out to leap for love on the edge of an ocean of tears

like a royal flotilla
Alice's menagerie swam by no tale is endless the rabbit opened his watch muttering late, late time to grow old


From the Hardcover edition.

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