Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE RED TURTLENECK, by KAREN SWENSON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE RED TURTLENECK, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I stand for approval
Last Line: As I wear it into my scent.
Subject(s): Beauty; Fashion; Sand, George (1804-1876); Seduction; Women; Dupin, Amanda. Baronne Dudevant

Did she put on his knowledge with his power...?
W.B. Yeats

I stand for approval
in my new cashmere cat-fur dress.
A woman friend nods a blessing and says,
"But the bow at the neck must be softer,
like this,
so they will know one tug undoes all."
I turn to our reflections
and recognize the tie of seduction.

But there is another kind of dressing -
George Sand, licensed by borrowed trousers,
opens her stride beyond the hem of her sex.

I pull your red turtleneck down my body,
heating your male odor from the fabric,
which hugs me ribbing to rib.

Whether I put on your knowledge
with the power of your costume
or I realize my knowledge
maled in the appearance of your power,
the core of my womanhood
struts rib to rib in this pullover
as I wear it into my scent.

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