John Gurney

Ferenczi wrote in 1938
that acts preparatory to coitus
all served in different ways to duplicate
the narcissistic self. The syllabus
of kissing, stroking, biting and the rest
facilitates the loss of boundaries
between the different partners and divests
the woman of her terror. Now your bliss-
equipment is discarded, and our clothes
are heaped in different tumuli, my male
decision falters. Suddenly I loathe
to make the deep manoeuvre. Something fails.
Flaccid, like some ludicrous buffoon,
I stare up at the flash-flask of the moon.