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       Aurora Matahari Raiment 


 G. Bennett Ulrich


   The topic was "Coy," I wrote it like a girl.

     And I wrote it like a boy.

       Sometimes coyness can shelter me from the rain, 
        from reality, from your embrace.

          You need no asylum from me. Let me be your sanctuary.

            Am I coy?

              If I'm a boy.

                Like a carp?

                  Yeah, you're full of carp.

                    Am I that way now?  Do you want to touch me?

                      Not your skin, though that may come in time, nor your mind 
                    (a touched mind is better left unseen), but your Heart, fair Maiden, 
                    your heart that did light my path to this troubling fork. And while I 
                   know you may touch mine--you have--and that I may but see yours, 
                  I'll never touch that which you keep caged from those who would 
                 justly feed it.  And so I leave the seed outside the bars and wish 
                you health, so heed it.

             I am coy.  Sometimes it's refreshing. 
            Allude, allure, persuade, demure...deny, negate, encapsulate! 
           Is it crazy?  Making you itch?

         I was born middle aged and raised by parents to whom 
        I taught wisdom.  "Crazy" holds no sway for me.  And 
       when I itch, I scratch, I don't ask clawed lions to rake 
      my flesh.  Your coyness, madam, is no crime only 
     to he that has no laws concerning such trespasses, 
    but to me it is Time-Devouring and Energy 
   Sapping.  Let us not play at Love, if you have 
  it, show it, if not, pray, let me know it, so that 
 I may safely and not unsadly turn my path 

  Do you need me to barrel down, like the 
   freezer freight need for obsession?  Would 
    you want me to slice open a vein, here and now, 
     and bleed the floor blue?  I cannot answer your 
      lines, because it's not a coy thing to do.

          Your answer given and now to mine: there's something 
           in me that must love a game.  I stay and play and think 
            the same--much the same as you: a puzzle to be solved, a 
             trophy to be won, but not until a great and glorious race is 
              run.  And while I tire of the quest, I also deny all rest, and 
               all respite of this coy game on this coy night. Perhaps a lack of 
                games is my true fright--so pray, dear saint, remain as stoic as 
                 your alabaster Mother on the dashboard of your car.  I may 
                  retreat, but not too far from your front door, so please, 
                   my love, be coy no more.

                     I digress, not to impress, but I feel perhaps that 
                    time presses his chill fingers into the tender 
                   white flesh of my throat, but I will not choke, 
                  even though my breath is boiling.

               So are you coy or are you toiling?

             Let's get back on track, folding our knees 
            and kneeling in the grass like children 
           with a dirty book, peeling back the 
          inky pages of our vulnerable naked 

        Am I deceived? Is Love received? All 
       my waiting, all my wanting, is this 
      Cupid's painting you are flaunting?

    Being so fragile is a safety. 
   Are you safe here?

 As safe as at my mother's 
teat, but--alas! This milk's 
 unsweet.  Have you given 
  all you gave to me as to that 
   selfish knave who took and tore 
    and did enslave, forcing you that 
     shred to save and spend instead your 
      coins of dread?

         For me this is not safe.  Your knife, strictly 
          sharpened on the oilstone of my soul, stings. 
           If you should take a pound of flesh, pray do 
            it sweetly.  However, safe is not alive...being so 
             safe is like fading into a sallow pale, a fleshy mass 
              of wasted breath.  Although, I admit, your courage is 
               well matched with wit.

                 Yes, but courage without triumph is like fire-fighting in the 
                 rain, it may seem worthy, but all the effort is in vain.

              And vanity is vulgarity, and I find Humanity to, often times, 
             be vulgar.  Sometimes I am vulgar.  Does that make you 
            want to stop listening?  Does that make you want to stop?

          Stop my heart?  Stop my voice?  Is that the choice?

       Should I demure, aloof, subdued, or should I coo 
      like Edith Pilaf*, finding the right chords 
     to seduce you?  I regret my voice is not so 
    sweet and, not long off, the beat of my heart 
   did retreat, so chilled by those cold eyes... 
  so now I must be coy.

 Oh, dear saint, you do wrong your 
heart too much by closing doors 
 to ward off tender touch.


     What is your deal? 
      Why are you so afraid 
        of coylessness?


            So, at what point are you 
             willing to shuffle off this mortal coy?

               Well, I guess I'll stop when someone sees 
                 through this filmy veil, and realizes that it's 
                  all an act, piercing that part of me that wants 
                   to play.

                     What then?

                       Usually my guts spill out onto the floor and footprints 
                        are left all the way to the backdoor as they find their 
                         way out.

                           Ahh!  That explains the coyness...those bastards.  I'd kill 
                            'em for that. This should be published in all the literature 
                             distributed to men--though I doubt it will, for that would 
                              be female treason.

                                That's right, and I'm a Benedict.

                                  Then I'm the French.**

                                    So was Edith Pilaf*, which brings us back to seduction. 
                                   Wow, it has been getting really cold in here since we 
                                  started stripping, so let's clothe our banter in swaths 
                                 of smut!

                               Fucking glorious!  I say let the words drip and spray 
                              from every the conversation.

                           Which brings us back to vulgarity.  This one should 
                          end soon, not to say it's trite, but the bite has been 
                         bitten, and while performers are smitten, my 
                        throat is getting really sore, so release me before 
                       I bore.

                     Then let us, please, be coy no more. 


                 Reprinted with permission of authors 


           [*Edith Piaf is a French singer, Pilaf is a 

          rice dish.

         **Benedict Arnold went over to the 
        British side during the American 
       Revolution not the French. 


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