Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Me it sucked first, and now sucks thee."

Poem of the Day:
John Donne's "The Flea"

Tonight I babysat my friend Gabe (5 years old). He possesses the energy of a caffeinated elephant, but thankfully without the strength of the African giant. He also has a very foul sense of humor; he seems to be at the age where the human body, and all its waste, is alluring beyond measure.

Tonight Gabe asked me if he could smell my butt.

I was getting him ready for bed. He was fighting the transition from day clothes to night clothes, as I weighed the pros and cons of a Star Wars or Snoopy pajama set (I eventually went with Snoopy, as I thought it would divert nightmares). Gabe, in the process of taking off his shorts and holding back fits of giggles, asked me, "Can I smell your butt?"

I promptly discouraged such an act.

Donne's "The Flea" is a strange reflection upon love through a wholly corporeal occurrence; Donne's speaker fixates upon a flea which has sucked the blood of both himself and his female lover ("And in this flea our two bloods mingled be"). He thereby posits that he and his woman friend have shared more than, one might argue, an evening in bed (lines 5-9). By sharing blood through a third party Donne apprehends a new and deeper bondage between he the woman of which he writes. For, as he writes, it becomes clear to him that "This flea is you and I" (line 12).

I like to think that Gabe's strange request of me was in truth a form of affection, that he wanted to get physically close to me, albeit uncomfortably close, in order to express the emotional closeness he feels. Really he wanted to say, "Audrey you are a great babysitter, I love you, you are so fun. Never leave me."

But instead he desired nothing more than to press his nose up to my behind and inhale.

A Poem A Day Audrey


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home