Excerpt from Calamus Lovers


Span of youth! Ever-pushed elasticity!
Manhood balanced and florid and full!
My lovers suffocate me!
Crowding my lips, and thick in the pores of my skin,
Justling me through streets and public halls--coming naked to me at night
Crying by day Ahoy from the rocks of the river--swinging and chirping
transp.gifover my head
Calling my name from flowerbeds or vines or tangled underbrush,
Or while I swim in the bath--or drink from the pump at the corner--
transp.gifor the curtain is down at the opera--or I glimpse a man's face in the
transp.gifrailroad car;
Lighting on every moment of my life,
Bussing my body with soft and balsamic busses,
Noiselessly passing handfuls out of their hearts and giving them to be mine.

[from "Song of Myself," Section 45]

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