Ode on a Grecian Urine

You squat, your harness gathered at your knees,  
   Your hem draped on your elbow like a sash,
Intent to rise in case somebody sees,
   The erstwhile impulse to insouciance, rash.
Your dress reveals the cleft in your behind,
   Moonlit, pale, impatient, on the brink.
      The halting stream bedevils your decision.
For all you seem to care I might be blind,
   And yes, I've had a glass or three to drink,
      But so must you, to treat me to this vision.

How awkwardly you wrestled with your clothes,
   How shamefaced and coerced your crouching strip,
How tightly doubled down into this pose
   The blue-white bullet of your thigh and hip,
How widely placed your feet and turned-in toes,
   Your arches prised away from your high-heels,
      What tact the passive effort in your stance,
What silent evocation, what repose!
   Your straining ankles tell me how it feels
      More poignantly than can your backward glance.

But soft!  The sounds of night assume a poise
   Above what sudden deep and steady pour?
All gods and natural things attend what noise
   And fade to insignificance before
What patter more profound than cymbal crash?
   That pool the paving stones refuse to drink
      You might have wished away, but no, you hover,
      A self-embracing self-enclosed self-lover
   Draining of necessity to think,
The gleaming surface dancing to the splash.

So here you are, a poem, “Woman Pissing,”
   Your bladder freeing up in its good time,
A moment that annihilates all wishing
   And drills upon the ringing stone its rhyme.
Complete and still, encowled by the night,
   Oblivious to darkness, out or in,
      Nor caring for your apogee in art
You stare unseeingly, and you are right
      To spurn such promiscuity of heart:
   To look beyond this moment would be sin,

Though whether sin against yourself or God
   I have attained to no compelling notion.
To fix faith in a formula seems odd
   And speculation's dribble swells to oceans.
Then piss!—while to effect some sort of marriage
   I lay me down like a garage mechanic,
      Methodical, though heedless of my suit,
And slide in to inspect your undercarriage
   Where, yielding me to inquiry less manic,
      I take your pale cheeks in my hands and root.

You start and render up a whispered scream,
   The indecorum choking off your flow.
But soon you find your seat, renew your stream
   While I adjust your wineskin's aim below,
A thirsty basin for your pagan fount,
   The sparkling source upon my forearms braced.
      Forever wilt thou pour, and I be there,
This moment an eternity to count,
      Eternity itself beyond my care,
   So gladdens me this burning bitter taste.


  1. Such a poet.
    Reminds me of my roommate and me in Fiesole, many years ago, drunk on wine, and having to pee so desperately. So we squatted in the angled shadow of a cobblestoned road on our way back to our pensione ... and looking back on the scene from this poem, I rather wish you had been there too!

  2. I've heard if you can't say anything good, it is best to say nothing.

    (Silence. Silence. Silence.)

    -- Was the poet 8, or 13?

    1. That's what Thumper's mother told him in Bambi. (All poets are eight.)