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New Romances and Their Appeal by Pattiann Rogers
published in Volume 3, Issue 3 on July 8th, 1996

Presently I like the new romance
of bells best--brass bells, harness bells
and cathedral bells, braying bells, soprano
bells, flashing bells sounding like rings
of fire on the ankles and wrists of barefoot
dancers, vesper bells, bestial bells,
bells of massacre, bellbirds, rose-colored
belladonna lilies.

Yet I could be equally allured
by the recently promoted romance
of bulls--long horn bull beetles, caribou
bulls and wild bull wildebeests, bullfrogs,
bullmoose, bull bats, bull finches, bull-
fighters, sleeked and oiled, salvering
white bulls ringed and tethered outside
the arena, heavily scented bulrush
marshes, berry-feeding Persian bulbuls.

One might be led astray into love also
by various bellies, bare baby bellies
kissed, a sun-soft wooden Buddha
belly, swine-belly bags, belly laughs,
or even be astonished by love for a bully's
sweaty belly as he works his barbells.

Most interesting, as union, however,
could be seven bellowing bulls in a windy
field of billowing bluestem grasses, or twenty
righteous bully men and stalwart ringing 
bells in parade on Christmas Eve.


I followed out of sight in the forest
and watched her climb the bell tower,
into the belfry at midnight.  I saw her
hoist herself to sit astride that still
bulk, straddle the metal of his wide girth.
I, myself, observed her ride the gaining
momentum of his high swinging, her head
back, her feet spread, her body
reverberating with the repeating gong
of his great clapper.  For I was the one
pulling the rope below.  I was the toller,
the theme, the throb and pump, the maker
of her romp.  I was the god of her pealing
passion.  And she came and she served me.

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