The Book of Sex

Derek Mong

The names we write here cannot be recorded,
though ownership drives all who yearn.
These pages—widespread as a motel Bible’s—
burn in those who wish they were burned.

I know those who’ve read them blindfolded,
the silhouettes more lavish when veiled.
We parents do them one better: this print
lifts us—half sandpaper, half Braille.

Derek Mong is the author of two poetry collections from Saturnalia Books, Other Romes (2011) and The Identity Thief (forthcoming, 2018). The Byron K. Trippet Assistant Professor of English at Wabash College, he recently completed a Ph.D. in American Literature at Stanford University. A former Axton Fellow at the University of Louisville and Halls Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin, he blogs at the Kenyon Review Online and reviews new poetry for the Gettysburg Review. His poetry, criticism and translations have appeared in the Kenyon Review, the Missouri Review, Two Lines, Pleiades, Crazyhorse, the Southern Review and many other publications.

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