Mina Loy

Virgins Plus Curtains Minus Dots

Latin Borghese

Houses hold virgins
The door's on the chain

‘Plumb streets with hearts’
‘Bore curtains with eyes’

Virgins             without dots*
Stare                 beyond probability

See the men pass
Their hats are not ours
We                 take a walk
They are going somewhere
And they        may look everywhere
Men's eyes              look into things
Our eyes               look out

A great deal of ourselves
We offer to the mirror
Something less to the confessional
The rest         to Time
There is so much          Time
Everything is full of it
                       Such a long time

Virgins may whisper
‘Transparent nightdresses made all of lace’
Virgins may squeak
‘My dear I should faint’
Flutter . . . . . flutter . . . . flutter . . . .
. . . . ‘And then          the man — ‘
Wasting our giggles
For we have no dots

We have been taught
Love is a god
White            with soft wings
                      Nobody shouts
            Virgins for sale
Yet where are our coins
For buying a purchaser
Love is a god
             Marriage expensive
A secret well kept
Makes the noise of the world
Nature's arms spread wide
Making room for us
             Room for all of us
Somebody who was never
                               a virgin
Has bolted the door
Put curtains at our windows
See the men pass
They               are going somewhere

Fleshes like weeds
Sprout in the light
So much flesh in the world
                     Wanders at will

Some          behind curtains
Throbs to the night
Bait              to the stars
Spread it with gold
And you carry it home
Against your shirt front
To                 a shaded light
With the door locked
Against virgins who
Might              scratch.

*Marriage Portions