Thursday, July 09, 2015

more James Tate from the Verse archives

James Tate

Vale of the White Horse

That’s where I first met my bride. She was standing under a chestnut tree during a summer shower. I stopped my car and offered to give her a lift. She didn’t seem to hear me. I got out of the car and walked up to her. Her skin looked and felt like porcelain. Are you okay? I asked. She blinked her eyes as if coming out of a trance. “I was looking for the white horse,” she said. I drove her to a hospital where the doctor diagnosed her as being my bride. “There’s no doubt about it, she is your bride.” We kissed, and thus the Trans-Canadian Highway was born.


A man and a woman meet in an alley. They kiss but they don’t really know one another. You smell like violets, he says putting his head on her breast. You’re strong, she says rubbing herself on his thigh. He runs his hands through her hair and pulls her tighter to him: I must have you, he says. Yes, I want to make love to you, she says touching him between his legs. Yes, you must give up your treasure to fructify the crops, he says. Oh yes, I want to fructify very much, she says. The crops, I mean.

[originally published in Verse, 1999]

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