My sweetie's underpants have argyles on them and grip his thighs.
O his European underpants with pastel colors,
how they illustrate his unassuming ways.
His secrets are feasts and traumas
and he is sometimes the loneliest under blankets.
His underpants represent the unconscious,
innocent, nervy, and true.
I can't help feeling eager.
O how he is an old man in his underpants.
When he is sleeping he has the softness of a child,
unquestioning and quietly fitful;
I kiss his head and wings,
for he in his underpants travels like a Griffin
to himself, a fabled monster of certain
sadness, when he sleeps it all goes inward,
in his lion and eagle.
* * * * *
Prageeta Sharma is the author of three collections of poetry—Infamous Landscapes (2007); Bliss to Fill (2000); and The Opening Question (2004), winner of the 2004 Fence Modern Poets Prize, in which the above poem appears.
Sharma is the recipient of the 2010 Howard Foundation Grant and is currently an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Montana in Missoula.