NAME, M/DD NAME, M/DD NAME, M/DD NAME, M/DD

Michelle Bitting


Permeable, Smitten


Piped in Lennon penetrates veins, ignites

obsession. I become sound, a black box speaker

tipped to kiss stage floor, deaf dancer

pirouetting on the boom beat of desire,

her percussive metatarsals. Oh to buzz about

something else, rearrange the marquee. Your role

not stroking the fine hairs of my spine, just so.

The after show remains unseen: a room

at the Chateau Marmont, my naked knees

reciting Keats every which way. Reservations

we’d press from wet ashes of our burning houses.

Strange, how I’ve never loved my husband,

bare-fleshed in the kitchen, more. Your eyes,

a feast of saints, my hands inhaling two worlds.


Michelle Bitting earned an MFA in creative writing from Pacific University, Oregon. Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, and Narrative Magazine, and have been featured on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily. In 2007, Thomas Lux chose her Good Friday Kiss as winner of the DeNovo First Book Award. This poem, “Permeable, Smitten,” won first place in the annual Beyond Baroque Poetry Competition, 2011, selected by Joyce Jenkins; it appears in Notes to the Beloved, winner of the Sacramento Poetry Center Book Contest, 2011. Michelle Bitting lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches in the UCLA Extension Writer’s Program and with California Poets in the Schools.

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