Photo Credit: Hank De Leo

Poems by Alice Fulton

Fierce Girl Playing Hopscotch

Industrial Lace

The Priming is a Negligee


The Priming is a Negligee

ppp between the oils and canvas. Stroke the white
sheath well into the weave. The canvas
needs more veil. The painting
ppppppppppp should float on skins of lead
white coating-or its oils will wither
the linen they touch, its colors gnaw
at cloth until the image hangs on air.
ppppppp The canvas needs more veil.

ppppppppppp The body takes its own shade
ppp with it everywhere. There are true gessoes
ppppppp flesh will accept: blocks and screens
to keep the sun just out of reach. Creams
ppp white as styrofoam but less
perpetual, vanishing like varnish
once they're crammed between the cells.
ppppppp So skin is sheltered
ppppppppppp by transparencies, iced
ppp with positive shadows. Sunshade.
The nihilist is light.
ppppppppppp Printers know it's the leading

between lines that lets them be
swaddled in the rag of stanzas.
How close the letters huddle
ppp without rubbing. For immersion see
"passion between." See
opposite of serene. For synonym and homonym
see "rapt" and "wrapped."
ppppppp There is a gown-that breathes-

and a gown-that heats. One to hold,
ppppppppppppppppppp One to release. Watch
the lead white camisole go up
ppp in arms and hair and skin.
That on flings it like a shiny jelly
ppp to the floor. With beautiful frugality, go
the solid cotton briefs.
ppp The lovers get so excited

to think-nothing comes between them.
ppppppppppppppppppp There is nothing between them.
That's how they can consume each other,
ppp sand each other sore.
The oils are suspended
ppp on a leading. The lovers
touch in linen walls.

From SENSUAL MATH (W.W. Norton & Company, 1995)