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Bunch Poem.

28 — Bunch Poem.

THE friend I am happy with, The arm of my friend hanging idly over my  
The hill-side whitened with blossoms of the  
 mountain ash,
The same, late in autumn—the gorgeous hues of  
 red, yellow, drab, purple, and light and dark  
The rich coverlid of the grass—animals and  
 birds—the private untrimmed bank—the  
 primitive apples—the pebble-stones,
Beautiful dripping fragments—the negligent list  
 of one after another, as I happen to call them  
 to me, or think of them,
The real poems, (what we call poems being merely  
The poems of the privacy of the night, and of  
 men like me,
This poem, drooping shy and unseen, that I al- 
 ways carry, and that all men carry,
(Know, once for all, avowed on purpose, wherever  
 are men like me, are our lusty, lurking, mas- 
 culine poems,)
  [ begin page 310 ]ppp.00237.318.jpg Love-thoughts, love-juice, love-odor, love-yielding,  
 love-climbers, and the climbing sap,
Arms and hands of love—lips of love—phallic  
 thumb of love—breasts of love—bellies,  
 pressed and glued together with love,
Earth of chaste love—life that is only life after  
The body of my love—the body of the woman I  
 love—the body of the man—the body of the  
Soft forenoon airs that blow from the south-west, The hairy wild-bee that murmurs and hankers up  
 and down—that gripes the full-grown lady- 
 flower, curves upon her with amorous firm  
 legs, takes his will of her, and holds himself  
 tremulous and tight upon her till he is satis- 
The wet of woods through the early hours, Two sleepers at night lying close together as they  
 sleep, one with an arm slanting down across  
 and below the waist of the other,
The smell of apples, aromas from crushed sage- 
 plant, mint, birch-bark,
The boy's longings, the glow and pressure as he  
 confides to me what he was dreaming,
The dead leaf whirling its spiral whirl, and falling  
 still and content to the ground,
The no-formed stings that sights, people, objects,  
 sting me with,
  [ begin page 311 ]ppp.00237.319.jpg The hubbed sting of myself, stinging me as much  
 as it ever can any one,
The sensitive, orbic, underlapped brothers, that  
 only privileged feelers may be intimate where  
 they are,
The curious roamer, the hand, roaming all over  
 the body—the bashful withdrawing of flesh  
 where the fingers soothingly pause and edge  
The limpid liquid within the young man, The vexed corrosion, so pensive and so painful, The torment—the irritable tide that will not be  
 at rest,
The like of the same I feel—the like of the same  
 in others,
The young woman that flushes and flushes, and  
 the young man that flushes and flushes,
The young man that wakes, deep at night, the hot  
 hand seeking to repress what would master  
 him—the strange half-welcome pangs, vis- 
 ions, sweats—the pulse pounding through  
 palms and trembling encirling fingers—the  
 young man all colored, red, ashamed, angry;
The souse upon me of my lover the sea, as I lie  
 willing and naked,
The merriment of the twin-babes that crawl over  
 the grass in the sun, the mother never turn- 
 ing her vigilant eyes from them,
  [ begin page 312 ]ppp.00237.320.jpg The walnut-trunk, the walnut-husks, and the ripen- 
 ing or ripened long-round walnuts,
The continence of vegetables, birds, animals, The consequent meanness of me should I skulk  
 or find myself indecent, while birds and  
 animals never once skulk or find themselves  
The great chastity of paternity, to match the great  
 chastity of maternity,
The oath of procreation I have sworn, The greed that eats in me day and night with  
 hungry gnaw, till I saturate what shall pro- 
 duce boys to fill my place when I am through,
The wholesome relief, repose, content, And this bunch plucked at random from myself, It has done its work—I toss it carelessly to fall  
 where it may.
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