Bold Lover by A. Shaikh

Bold Lover


after Keats


We are like everyone else, kissing

outside the hot chocolate shop and always


leaning over the gear shift in the car.

But at home, when you pull me in by the silk


of my waist I know even the magicians could

never dream of a better trick. How could they,


when your lips are quick to bloom flowers

in between my thighs, once an entire bouquet


of pink hydrangeas appearing at your whim.

There are few more beautiful things than our


soft sounds, intermingling with the piano bar

downstairs or the neighbor’s kitchen playlist.


And yet, with your fingers in my hair I can hardly

even hear our radiator hissing, biting its wet teeth.


Instead your laugh curls inside my throat

as if to whisper, what wild ecstasy?



A. Shaikh



A. Shaikh is a poet raised in the tangerine summers of Texas. She is an associate for The Kenyon Review, Editor-in-Chief of Sunset Press, and an Aquarius who loves the color blue. You can find her poems forthcoming in The Susequehanna Review, Underblong, and Jam&Sand. Her internet thoughts reside @apricotpoet


About this poem

"I spent the second half of 2019 living in a noisy studio apartment in Chicago and the origin of this poem came from the little universe of sounds I was enveloped in. The line and title, which are both from Keat's "Ode to a Grecian Urn", appeared in a much later draft once I realized that this poem is not about any person in particular, but rather an ideal relationship, and what I hold as beautiful and true when it comes to love."


You can also read A. Shaikh's 'inventory of the aftermath', in our first issue, here.

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