Ah Love, you smell of petroleum
with grease on your fingernails,
paint in your hair
there is a pained look in your eye
from no appreciation
you speak to me of the lilacs
and appleblossoms we ought to have
the banquets we should be serving
afterwards rubbing each other for hours
with tenderness and genuine
someday. Meantime here is your cracked plate
with spaghetti. Wash your hands &
touch me, praise
my cooking. I shall praise your calluses,
we shall dance in the kitchen
of our imagination.
Judy Grahn, “Ah Love, you smell of petroleum” from love belongs to those who do the feeling: New & Selected Poems (1966-2006). Copyright © 2008 by Judy Grahn. Reprinted by permission of Judy Grahn and Red Hen Press.
Judy Grahn is one of the founders of lesbian, gay, and queer movements. Her first pro-lesbian article was published in 1966 in Sexology Magazine; yes, that is 45 years ago. Her memoir, A Simple Revolution: the Making of an Activist Poet, has been released by Aunt Lute Press. She teaches Women's Spirituality, her own theories and research, and writing and literature at Sofia University in Palo Alto, California. Journal.