John Delaney retired as curator of historic maps at Princeton University Library, and moved out to Port Townsend, WA. He’s traveled widely, preferring remote, natural settings, and is addicted to kayaking and hiking. In 2017, he published Waypoints (Pleasure Boat Studio, Seattle), a collection of place poems. Twenty Questions, a chapbook, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.
“Shall I call you Miss, or Ms., or Mrs.?
Whatever style you derive from clothes,
you look naked, dear, without my kisses.”
Blessed is the man who counts his blisses
helping a woman shed all of those
veils—the Miss, the Ms., even the Mrs.—
to show what’s underneath (so hot it hisses!)
while she models a more natural pose—
endearing the nakedness he kisses.
Yet, after his share of hits and misses,
trying to learn what every woman knows
of mischief and mystery (and Mrs.
Grundy), he’s still left guessing what pisses
her off, how many secrets she’ll disclose
to the queries of dear, naked kisses.
So it’s back to the drawing board he goes
to fashion women as they metamorphose
from Miss to Ms., and most to Mrs.—
“Dear Nakedness, I’ll dress you with my kisses.”