photo by tess. lotta
Jan Steckel is a retired Harvard- and Yale-traned pediatrician, an activist for bisexual and disability rights, a poet, and a writer. Her poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction have appeard widely, including in Scholastic Magazine, Yale Medicine, Bellevue Review, Harrington Lesbian Literary Quarterly, Red Rock Review, and elsewhere. She is the author of three books: The Horizontal Poet (copyright 2011 Zeitgeist Press), a finalist for the LAMBDA Literary Awards; Mixing Tracks (Gertrude Press, 2009), which won the Gertrude Press Fiction Chapbook Award; and The Underwater Hospital (copyright 2006 Zeitgeist Press), which won a Rainbow Award for lesbian and bisexual poetry. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband, Hew Wolff.
We chose rings of braided gold,
mine red, yours white.
Your sister filled our honeymoon suite
with yellow roses.
When we rumpled the sheets,
I twisted the ring on your finger.
You laughed and said
it felt like I was adjusting your settings.
It was fetish-wear for me,
kindling more lust
than any slipped sheet bend
around my ankle or wrist.
In the rose- and -sex-scented morning,
I found you bent over a sheet of paper,
diagramming your ring.
"Three strands! Fourteen crossings!"
With a topologist's glee,
you mapped the gold intersections.
I laughed at you until you
rose and joined me in the bed.
Like a Dark Age Irish scribe,
bent over his book of knots,
you drew me out
and illuminated me.
(previously published in Red Rock Review)