Galatea Alone


I have grown accustomed to his hands,
the rough palms on my knees, the cracked thumbs
still caked with plaster making their demands,
circling my thigh until it’s numb.

And I have grown accustomed to his praise.
I stand before his friends, unpin my hair,
arrange my arms, and lower my gaze
so he can boast that no one else compares.

But I am still adjusting to the feeling
that these long limbs are more than a display.
(The velvet of my skin can send me reeling
when I bathe!) Oh, Venus, let him stay

out late, tell his stories, drink his wine.
Tonight, let this body be all mine.


Gwen Hart’s book of poems, Lost and Found, was published by David Robert Books in 2006. She lives in Athens, Ohio, with her husband Roger, a fiction writer, and their two dogs.

First published in Measure, Volume 3, Issue 1 (2008)