Jan/Feb 2001  •   Poetry

The Virgin's Man

by Nicole Jackson

The Virgin's Man

For three nights the virgin's man dreamed of oysters:
cracked open and splayed,
sea-foamed, quivering beneath his fork.

Each morning as he pulls a silk square from his pocket
to rub his glasses clean,
he detects the faint scent of the sea.

At Sunday morning mass, he kneels before her.
Collar strained and moist,
head bent back, tongue poised to receive.

The sand-dollar wafer softens from the edges inward
like an uncertain lover,
yielding to the damp and the salt.