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Paul Meier reading

Beneath a Flirtation

by Alan Harris
A trembling in your hand
as you speak with it
tells me a story far deeper
than the message in your voice.

Your eyes glance to the side
then bounce back to our center,
penetrating my defenses
with a direct melt.

Clever words dance about
your acrobatic tongue,
and we laugh at their ballet
when the sentence ends.

Where is your soul hiding
inside this communication?
What messages are you
sublimating into my inner ear?

I'm hearing a cry for help and love
from deep inside your lilting voice.
I would offer to rescue you,
but I'm nowhere safe myself.

Let us just enjoy our fan dance
of foxy phrases and fencing eyes,
of flashing hands and smiles,
of gambling give and tricky take.

Quickly as our conversation may
cavort and twist and frolic,
its loving undermeaning remains
calm as Mona Lisa's smile.

From the book Inward in Words (1990)

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