I sit in the black leather chair
on the plume of smoke that rises
in the air,
riffling the pages of my life
as if it were a book of poems,
past & future.
If I go back, back, back,
riding the plume of smoke,
I find I died
in childbirth in another life,
died by fire in the life before that,
died by water twice, or more.
I pick out days
& relive them
as if I were trying on dresses.
When the future beckons,
riding another plume of smoke,
feeling the barrier
between skin & air
& my body disappear
like the myth it is.
My cheeks burn against the air,
flaming where two elements collide
Oh explosion at the body's edge!
I live on a ledge of time,
at the infinite.
Erica Jong's Other Poems
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