Subjects Freshman Year Reading African American Studies African Studies American Studies Anthropology Art, Film, Music and Architecture Asian Studies Business and Economics Criminology Education Environmental Studies Foreign Language Instructional Materials Gender Studies History Irish Studies Jewish Studies Latin American & Caribbean Studies Law and Legal Studies Literature and Drama Literature in Spanish Media Issues, Journalism and Communication Middle East Studies Native American Studies Philosophy Political Science Psychology Reference Religion Russian and Eastern European Studies Science and Mathematics Sociology Study Aids


E-Newsletters: Click here to be notified of new titles in your field
Click here to request Desk/Exam copies
Freshman Year Reading
View Our Award Winners
Click here to view our Catalogs
Ants on the Melon

Ants on the Melon

Upgrade to the Flash 9 viewer for enhanced content, including the ability to browse & search through your favorite titles.
Click here to learn more!

E-Mail this Page Print this Page
Add This - Ants on the Melon

Written by Virginia AdairAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Virginia Adair

  • Format: eBook, 176 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library
  • On Sale: November 4, 2009
  • Price: $2.99
  • ISBN: 978-0-307-55439-0 (0-307-55439-2)
Also available as a trade paperback.
EXCERPT

Now You Need Me

When the rains come
you remember
our old closeness
humping along
in the wet.
You grope the dark
where I hang
morosely
by my crooked neck.
You pull off my cover
shake me till my
ribs jingle
and a moth flies out.
Your hand reaches under
my black skirt
and up one leg
thin as a cane
until I open wide
with a rusty squawk
hovering above you
like a dark and loving
raven, said the old
umbrella, her night
full of holes.


Peeling an Orange

Between you and a bowl of oranges I lie nude
Reading The World's Illusion through my tears.
You reach across me hungry for global fruit,
Your bare arm hard, furry and warm on my belly.
Your fingers pry the skin of a naval orange
Releasing tiny explosions of spicy oil.
You place peeled disks of gold in a bizarre pattern
On my white body. Rearranging, you bend and bite
The disks to release further their eager scent.
I say "Stop, you're tickling," my eyes still on the page.
Aromas of groves arise. Through green leaves
Glow the lofty snows. Through red lips
Your white teeth close on a translucent segment.
Your face over my face eclipses The World's Illusion.
Pulp and juice pass into my mouth from your mouth.
We laugh against each other's lips. I hold my book
Behind your head, still reading, still weeping a little.
You say "Read on, I'm just an illusion," rolling
Over upon me soothingly, gently moving,
Smiling greenly through long lashes. And soon
I say "Don't stop. Don't disillusion me."
Snows melt. The mountain silvers into many a stream.
The oranges are golden worlds in a dark dream.


One Ordinary Evening

Lying entwined with you
on the long sofa

the hi-fi helping
Isolde to her climax

I was clipping
the coarse hairs

from your ears
and ruby nostrils

when you said, "Music
for cutting nose wires"

and we shook so
the nailscissors nicked

your gentle neck
blood your blood

I cleansed the place
with my tongue

and we clung tight
pelted with Teutonic cries

till the player
lifted its little prick

from the groove
all arias over

leaving us
in post-Wagnerian sadness

later that year
you were dead

by your own hand
blood your blood

I have never understood
I will never understand.


An Hour to Dance

For a while we whirled
over the meadows of music
our sadness put away in purses
stuffed into old shoes or shawls

the children we never were
from cellars and closets
attics and faded snapshots
came out to leap for love
on the edge of an ocean of tears

like a royal flotilla
Alice's menagerie swam by
no tale is endless
the rabbit opened his watch
muttering late, late
time to grow
old


From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpted from Ants on the Melon by Virginia Adair. Excerpted by permission of Modern Library, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.