Kim Addonizio
31-Year-Old Lover

When he takes off his clothes
I think of a stick of butter being unwrapped,
the milky, fattish smoothness of it
when it’s taken from the fridge still hard
the way his body is hard, the high
tight pectorals, the new dimes of the nipples pressed
into his chest, the fan shape of the muscles underneath.
I look at his arms, shaped as though a knife
has slid along the curves to carve them out,
deltoids, biceps, triceps, I almost can’t believe
that he is human—latissimus dorsi, hip flexors,
gluteals, gastrocnemius—he is so perfectly made.
He stands naked in my bedroom and nothing
has harmed him yet, though he is going
to be armed. He is going to have a gut one day
and wiry gray hairs where the soft dark filaments
flow out of him, the cream of his skin is going
to loosen and separate slowly, over a low steady flame
and he has no idea, as I had no idea,
and I am not going to speak of this to him ever,
I am going to let him stretch out on my bed
so I can take the heavy richness of him in
and in, I am going to have it back the only way I can.

Found In Volume 30, No. 03
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Kim Addonizio
About the Author

Kim Addonizio is the author of twelve books of poetry and prose, most recently the memoir Bukowski in a Sundress: Confessions from a Writing Life (Penguin) and Mortal Trash (W.W. Norton), which was awarded the Paterson Poetry Prize.  She has received a Guggenheim, two NEA Creative Writing Fellowships, and other awards. Her collection Tell Me was a National Book Award Finalist. She lives in Oakland, CA.