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You Ask Why Sometimes I Say Stop

 You ask why sometimes I say stop
why sometimes I cry no
while I shake with pleasure.
What do I fear, you ask, why don't I always want to come and come again to that molten deep sea center where the nerves fuse open and the brain and body shine with a black wordless light fluorescent and heaving like plankton.
If you turn over the old refuse of sexual slang, the worn buttons of language, you find men talk of spending and women of dying.
You come in a torrent and ease into limpness.
Pleasure takes me farther and farther from the shore in a series of breakers, each towering higher before it crashes and spills flat.
I am open then as a palm held out, open as a sunflower, without crust, without shelter, without skin, hideless and unhidden.
How can I let you ride so far into me and not fear? Helpless as a burning city, how can I ignore that the extremes of pleasure are fire storms that leave a vacuum into which dangerous feelings (tenderness, affection, l o v e) may rush like gale force winds.

by Marge Piercy
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