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The Saturday Poem: Soul Song

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by Michael Symmons Roberts

Soul Song

Did you hear of the man who had
a woman tattooed on his back:
her thighs on his, calf to calf, tapered
down to ankles, heels; her slender arms
etched on the pales of his own, her breasts
beneath his shoulder blades, throat on nape,
her face on the back of his shaven head?

He called her his soul-mate, then his soul.

This is not anecdote, but fable,
I should tell you, drop the blinds,
he lay with her ten thousand nights
but she aged with him, blemished,
tarnished, more vascular than luminous
until his true soul, she took umbrage,
upped and left without a note.


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