Flirtation-Rita Dove

​This week’s poem comes from the indomitable former poet laureate.She is not only a gifted poet but also the author of fi tion and several short story collections. Flirtation is an example of her diverse and vast range. 


After all, there’s no need 

to say anything 


at first. An orange, peeled 

and quartered, flares 


like a tulip on a wedgewood plate 

Anything can happen. 


Outside the sun 

has rolled up her rugs 


and night strewn salt 

across the sky. My heart 


is humming a tune 

I haven’t heard in years! 


Quiet’s cool flesh— 

let’s sniff and eat it. 

There are ways 

to make of the moment 

a topiary 

so the pleasure’s in 

walking through.

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