Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WEDDING BED IN MANGKUTANA, by KAREN SWENSON

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WEDDING BED IN MANGKUTANA, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: In the village guesthouse
Last Line: From the same soil.
Subject(s): Indonesia; Marriage; Sex; Dutch East Indies; Weddings; Husbands; Wives

In the village guesthouse
it fills the room it stands in,
a statement of human
belief in idyllic desire.

Curlicued rills of wrought iron
are festooned with lace mosquito net
thrown back from its dark, welcoming cave
where the conjunction of improbabilities occurs -
a boy, knowing cows and goats, is
to be patient, tender;
a girl, a childbirth witness, is
to be responsive, passionate.

From this seedbed, despite
withered harvests, children dead of malaria,
on sheets and pillows strewn
with dainty confetti of embroidered flowers,
belief would have desire
sprout itself out of spit and semen,
flourish taller than stunted tapioca and corn
from the same soil.

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