Ann Fox Chandonnet – “Sapphic” – A Poem


Since my hand first left my teething gums
and explored its hungry way south,
I’ve proved autoerotic and

All those delicious Sappho songs,
all that clinging lingerie
with trembling marabou.

Once in grad school
I visited a friend’s dorm room.
She was sitting up in bed,

Lonely as a weed,
an urge flooded me:
to dive in and

Sex with a similar
rather than an other
seems more equal, soothing—
less competitive.

When California came to its senses,
my best friend from high school
married her partner
of 35 years.

They marched down the figurative aisle
in matching pale pink shorts.
Cherry blossoms were tossed—
biodegradable, natch.

My blue-eyed, blonde friend
is squat, glass-half-empty.
Her mother wouldn’t let her join
a nunnery.

Her partner’s the perfect cowgirl,
like me muscled; familiar
with silage, bales and wire.
Laughing, glass-half-full.

O Sappho, I greet you
with this incense,
this Opium
by Yves St. Laurent.