Poetry Porch: Poetry


“Fiction Weaving”
By Rebecca Seiferle

The Encyclopedia Britannica has given “lesbianism” its own listing for the first time in its 334 years of publication. The newly-released 2002 edition defines lesbianism as “the quality or state of intense emotional and usually erotic attraction of a woman to another woman.”

In 1867,
         In a room full of looms
a medical journal article “The Influence of the Sewing Machine on Female Health”
         We are weaving ourselves together
claimed that seamstresses were apt to become sexually excited
         “Female homosexuality does not exist,” the red Queen says,
by the steady rhythm of a sewing machine.
         “We don’t need to ban what doesn’t exist . . . Banning sewing machines is another
It was believed inadvertent orgasms often resulted from the up-and-down motion
        it’s the lover
        in you who takes my bitten
        hand in your two hands, and it’s
        the daughter in you who tells
        me to stop biting my nails
        annoyed in a public place
        by the sound of my animal
        tearing its own cuticles,
        snapping off its nails, and it’s
        the mother in you who mourns
        over my hand

of women’s legs while turning the foot pedal.

It was suggested that to prevent this the labor companies should put bromide, a chemical
thought to inhibit sexual desire,
         oh, the poor thing does deserve better,
into the women’s drinking water.
                           this room full of looms that have fallen so still
It was also stated that supervisors should circulate
         among the seamstresses
                           their threads like tongues
that not yet knotted themselves into words,
so many selves, sewing ourselves into one, one each, one many,

to see who was sewing too fast.

         Oh, in the elevator, on the stairs, on the snow-covered roof,
         in the laundry room, on the bed, behind the bed, under the bed,
         on the floor, those kisses
weaving themselves
         each our own tapestry in each other’s

                        in her who leans into my hair
                        poet in her who enters
                        my ear, sister
                        in her that instructs my hand
                        to color, aunt in her
                        who remembers

         fingers and fingers flying over lavender threads

among all the mysterious
         (oh, “inadvertent” orgasms are the most dangerous kind)

                  love is a fiction weaving
         into my palm, into yours
so many you’s, so many I’s,
                                   snarled, raveling, unraveling
borne upon
the surface of water, the current
of the flesh, a red maple leaf, a cunt, fragrant
as orchids, mysterious as the third eye in the dreaming
flesh, a discarded dress, the color of mourning,
plucked from a meadow and set adrift, a blue parrot’s
feather, a storm of butterflies, tiny
stones or obsidian tears or
caught in the drift or a turning in the eddies,
the pine needles, the childhood forest, or
the fingertips sticky with sap from
the ponderosa pine still smelling
of butterscotch

         what is most wonderful about a woman is the taste of her,
all parts of her,
                  honey, amber, a cloved lemon, oyster tears
the petals of wildflowers, the eating of clouds, rain in their pores, wild raspberries,
strawberries, smoky flesh of small clams,
                  “Lesbianism is a state of mind whose sexual organ
         is the skin,”
a quality, a state of feeling
                           pores of echo
                  in the cumulus of skin,

my dear chestnut gatherer,
margery, molly, invert, unisexual, androphile, normosexual, parisexual, ghaselig,
bigirl, doubling double, or in Turkish offcolor terms
presbitorean (prehs-beh-toh-reh-yahn)
for someone who writes erotic poetry
or pteronofili (peh-teh-roh-noh-fee-lee)
taking sexual pleasure from being caressed with a feather
in . . . into . . . inadvertent, unmeant, unintended . . .

or any other

in this room full of women and looms

Copyright © 2007 by Rebecca Seiferle.