Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > Anthology of Magazine Verse for 1920
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. (1878–1962).  Anthology of Magazine Verse for 1920.  1920.
 
Dorothy
 
Alfred Kreymborg (1883–1966)
 
 
I. HER EYES

HER eyes hold black whips—
  dart of a whip
  lashing, nay, flicking,
  nay, merely caressing
  the hide of a heart—        5
and a broncho tears through canyons—
  walls reverberating,
  sluggish streams
  shaken to rapids and torrents,
  storm destroying        10
  silence and solitude!
Her eyes throw black lariats—
  one for his head,
  one for his heels—
and the beast lies vanquished—        15
  walls still,
  streams still,
  except for a tarn,
  or is it a pool,
  or is it a whirlpool        20
  twitching with memory?
 
II. HER HAIR

Her hair
is a tent
  held down by two pegs—
  ears, very likely—        25
where two gypsies—
  lips, dull folk call them—
read your soul away:
one promising something,
the other stealing it.        30
  If the pegs would let go—
  why is it they’re hidden?—
and the tent
  blow away—drop away—
like a wig—or a nest—        35
  maybe
you’d escape
paying coin
to gypsies—
  maybe—        40
 
III. HER HANDS

Blue veins
  of morning glories—
blue veins
  of clouds—
blue veins        45
  bring deep-toned silence
  after a storm.
White horns
  of morning glories—
white flutes        50
  of clouds—
sextettes hold silence fast,
  cup it for aye.
Could I
  blow morning glories—        55
could I
  lip clouds—
I’d sound the silence
  her hands bring to me.
Had I        60
  the yester sun—
had I
  the morrow’s—
brush them like cymbals,
  I’d then sound the noise.        65
 
IV. HER BODY

Her body gleams
like an altar candle—
white in the dark—
and modulates
to voluptuous bronze—        70
bronze of a sea—
under the flame.

  The Dial
 

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