Erica Jong

26 March 1942 / New York City


Cement up to the neck
& my head packed
with unsaid words.
A gullet full of pebbles,
a mouth
of cast concrete-
I am stuck
in a lovelessness so thick,
it seems my natural element.
My mouth closes
on stones.

Hand frozen to my chin,
my back a question mark,
my heart soldered
to its arteries,
my feet planted
in grass that cannot grow,
The Thinker ponders
ten more years of this:
a woman
living the life
of a statue.

Break free!
Melt the metal
in love's cauldron,
open doors, eyes, heart,
those frozen ventricles,
those stuck tongues,
those stuttering dependencies.

When the statue walks,
will the world dissolve?
When she shakes her shoulders,
will the sky shrug
& skitter off in space?

Or will the clouds cluster
to cover her,
& the blue wind gather
at her shoulders
& the men streak by
like jet trails in the air,
utterly ephemeral?
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