Ira Sukrungruang is the author of the memoirs Southside Buddhist and Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy, the short story collection The Melting Season, and the poetry collection In Thailand It Is Night. He is the recipient of the 2015 American Book Award, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Nonfiction Literature, an Arts and Letters Fellowship, and the Emerging Writer Fellowship. His work has appeared in many literary journals, including Post Road, The Sun, and Creative Nonfiction. He is one of the founding editors of Sweet: A Literary Confection, and teaches in the MFA program at University of South Florida.

July 20, 2016

Ira Sukrungruang

The Lusciousness

1. Sensate: you are alive, every pore opened, the moment you plummet. Not a free fall, but elation, anticipation, like a ball in a boy's hand about to bounce. 2. So I take you in, my love, the sight of you, the whole of you, like a dare boys do, shoving sweet donuts in the hollow of our mouths, fighting the taut urge to choke, swallowing a little at a time, savoring sweet lusciousness that fills and spreads and satiates. 3. How sight is taste and taste is touch, lips lingering at the nape, fingers dancing on the glide of a back. How fingers are eyes too, tracing the contour of skin and sweat; and the tongue another eye, licking the soft behind the ear, down the musical chords of the neck, the callused tips of guitar fingers, to the undulations of the belly, falling and falling, further and further. 4. And breath is song. When I sang those young years ago, my teacher told me to build breath in the gut, fill the empty of my belly with air and push forth word. So yes, the breath and the moan and the gasp and the shiver and the shudder. Love, we are tuning forks ever trembling. 5. This is not a love poem. It's bodies speaking. It's entanglement. Look at us. From above, we take the shape of snakes. One eating the other. Desire. Devouring. This is vulnerability, the fragile crisp of a fall leaf in a fisted hand.

"The Lusciousness" came about via a conversation with my then friend, now wife, about the difference between love and sex. The poem centers around the language of intimacy, the sensorial details that surrounds touch, the forgoing of thought and giving in to pleasure. It's not so much a love poem, but a lust poem, a desire poem. I couldn't help but have a bit of fun when writing it, the way the Romantics would begin to swoon over landscapes with exclamation marks. I was swooning over the landscapes of the body.

Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published weekly by Glass Poetry Press.
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