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Published: Thu Jul 1 2004
Eva Lundsager, Were now like (detail), 2021, oil on canvas
Desire

I’ve been studying horseshoe crabs
but desire keeps scrambling up my hand instead
on 12 jointed legs, its claws determined to catch my skin.

Her legs have teamed up, the first two for eating.
The next, meant for sex, rehearse ’round my fingers.
Locomotion requires the remaining eight.

I have flipped her, bared her to the harbor air.
My tips trace her belly—salty and wet
she bends into me, moving my fingers
to the edge of her mouth.

In time I will flip her back
then kneel
then watch her sink
herself beneath the outgoing tide.

Emily Scudder has published two poetry collections, Feeding Time (Pecan Grove Press, 2011) and A Change of Pace(Finishing Line Press, 2007), and a chapbook,_ Natural Instincts_ (Finishing Line Press, 2008). Her poems have appeared in AGNI Online, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Jabberwock Review, Mamazine.com, Harvard Review, and elsewhere. She received a master’s degree in theological studies from Harvard Divinity School and works as a library assistant and an activist in the Harvard Union of Clerical & Technical Workers. She lives with her husband and two children in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (updated 7/2011)

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