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Sex without Love

How do they do it, the ones who make love without love? Beautiful as dancers, gliding over each other like ice-skaters over the ice, fingers hooked inside each other’s bodies, faces red as steak, wine, wet as the children at birth whose mothers are going to give them away. How do they come to the come to the come to the God come to the still waters, and not love the one who came there with them, light rising slowly as steam off their joined skin? These are the true religious, the purists, the pros, the ones who will not accept a false Messiah, love the priest instead of the God. They do not mistake the lover for their own pleasure, they are like great runners: they know they are alone with the road surface, the cold, the wind, the fit of their shoes, their over-all cardio- vascular health–just factors, like the partner in the bed, and not the truth, which is the single body alone in the universe against its own best time.

Poet Sharon Olds
In the beginning of the poem the assumption is made that it is not only possible, but it is better to make love without being in love. Emotional detachment is not easy to achieve. The author makes a comparison of dancing to sex, which is a clever one. To move fluidly with one another lets the mind picture in detail the act of love making. The line “How do they come, how do they come to the god” and so forth, is a play on words. referencing the climax love making creates. after this line she asks how this act can be done without love once again. making you question the poets belief in what she is actually writing. Is love making without love a bad thing ? Does she agree, writing from experience or creating a fantasy ? Either way it creates mystery and gets your blood flowing. A good poem will conflict with your feelings, and i truly believe thats good for the brain.




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