Leland James | FIG LEAVES


In our doing and undoing,
in our designs,

the nakedness
we try to hide:

the corpse beneath the sheet
laid out upon a stainless table.

Plainly there, plainly.
But we go on

in our intricate designs.

The clink of glasses,
a swirl of opulence
upon a porcelain plate,

the tasteful tie and jacket,
understated, elegant.

Oh yes.

The anesthetizing doctor
saying, “Well at least
he felt no pain,

or very little.”

And in a minute turning

the hours come and go
to find us old and disillusioned,

still longing for the clink of glasses.
Wanting more.

……………….. Or if we dare—

oh if we dare
to set aside our wantonness,
to cede the corpse upon the table

and hear, once more,
the voice that sent us scurrying

to hide our nakedness,
might these plumes of dissipation
in surrender

fall away?


Author’s Bio

LELAND JAMES, nominated for the 2014 Pushcart Poetry Prize, is the author of three books of poetry. He has been published in over fifty journals and magazines worldwide, including The South Carolina Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New Millennium Writings, and The London Magazine. He has won numerous international poetry competitions. www.lelandjamespoet.com