Born in the middle of it all,
Thrashing the red arms and wailing
Like so many before,
By stories she grew in beauty
And was admired by all for the way she eeled
Along the wooded or concrete walks,
Until her first spring of desire sprang
From its nest and was answered
By male whispers and tepid flight.
And tepid flight to tepid flight
Her beauty grew wilder, easier to understand
And to conquer, or be conquered,
By the long lines of conquerors
On the sidewalks of Seattle.
Fertilized and refertilized there blossomed
There a particular type of pulchritude,
Easy to understand, naked and unashamed,
An ocean of desire with many names,
Many legends, many tales, piled and repiled,
Unanswerable, ununderstandable, unreal,
Yet so real and too real and too understandable
In times when legions of men were directed
On unemotional maps to horrid death —
The conquerors conquering and being conquered
On first nights, last nights, first times,
Last times, by the beautiful naked savage
On the bed of time and ending, the general ending,
The great climax of it all. And still
The laugh in corridors, the talk over back fences
By lazy wives worrying about possession
Of something freely given, freely experienced,
And needed on the eve of death. The final dying
Place with the single bulb, the smell of sweat,
The fear of overuse and no feeling in that
Final dying place before the crossing
And the foxholed night when one thousand
Men died with the face of the whore
Smiling, answering all demands, with her
Particular type of honesty, her face in the last
Night and that final death-rattle dream of a
Thousand men who will return to Seattle and
The second floor to claim her forever, for their
Own, untouchable conquest — as undemanding
As that one night,
As honest as that one night.