On the Soft Skin of the Underside

In the days of physical elasticity,
instant sparks of electricity
and youthful hunger,
whether in daylight, twilight or moonlight,
lips and teeth tended to tattoo and collide

on the soft skin of the underside.

Now I love to tangle in the copper hair
on forearms, chest and belly, where
winter frost has started to appear,
but it is on the soft skin underneath I linger
with tender lips and tip of finger.

Kim M. Russell, 1st September 2020

Image by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Tuesday Poetics: Exploring Erotica as a Literary Genre (what makes a poem erotic?), also linked to Poets and Storytellers United Writers’ Pantry

This Tuesday our guest host is Sanaa of adashofsunny, with erotica. She gives us a historical background to erotic literature as well as examples of art and poetry. I particularly like the poem by John Donne, although my favourite of his is ‘The Flea’, so underplayed and humorous for a poem about seducing a woman. Sanaa’s own poems are so much more romantic, I can hear them breathe. Although I have enjoyed Anais Nin’s erotic writing, I would like to see if there are as many erotic poems by female poets as by men.

The form I chose is the elevensie, which I first discovered through Rosemary Nissen-Wade. It was pioneered by Australian poet Kerri Shying, who thought an eleven-liner ‘could become a respectable form in its own right: a form any poet might attempt. Five lines either side and the middle line’s the title, that’s all there is to it.’

58 thoughts on “On the Soft Skin of the Underside

  1. This is absolutely OUTSTANDING, Kim! ❤️ I so love how you have executed the Elevensies form — brilliant in wordplay and imagery especially; “where winter frost has started to appear.” 🥰 Thank you so much for writing to the prompt!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Brilliantly penned, once again. You explore the depths of erotica well–that physical closeness and observation delving into each other-ness. That was sensual and powerful to read. Very beautiful piece with fervent imagery as well. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I really loved the imagery in your poem Kim!
    I feel as if I am learning so much by perusing the poems in the erotica prompt.
    I tended to pack in explicit words and a lot of emotion into my erotica writing, but in poems like yours, so much is said without explicit terms. But it is so powerful! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  4. lips and teeth tended to tattoo and collide — fabulous line, Kim! The last verse tugged on my heartstrings…love and passion is there even when “winter frost has started to appear.”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Eroticism and tenderness, together, are so good at spicing up love. The softness of this voice reads like a caress that lingers after the page has been closed. I particularly love the first stanza, the vividness of the descriptions will stay with me.

    Liked by 3 people

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