In the early 70's I was a teenager and my boyfriend used to give me poems he said he'd written for me. They were pretty good, too. After we married, I discovered his small collection of Rod McKuen books and the poems he'd 'borrowed' from them to win my heart. We used to use the poem below as our secret code for having sex. If either of us mentioned Rome, we'd skitter home to have some fun. And trust me, it's not that easy to work Rome into a conversation at your mother's house. LOL! Ah, the joys of youth! I own every single one of Rod McKuen's books, a few battered copies from the early days of our marriage. I still enjoy reading Mr. McKuen's poetry. It never fails to move me and bring up great memories. xo
By Rod McKuen
I carry down between my legs
Rome itself, for you love Rome
and I would drive Rome into you
or drive you into Rome.
This room your coliseum till you board
your plane. These arms your forum
Self-propelled am I between
the morning and the midnight
I glide along your groin and earn my wings
by testing out your thighs
like some new willful Wiley Post.
My flight is not away, not to or from.
Above you, below you - I soar
and perch upon your second pillow.
I have no need for such mechanical devices
as winged shoes or wings. I am made uncommon
by the need to know you and thereby
come to know myself.
Rome, though in the distance, is no farther
than the dresser and not so far away
that I can't take you there.
For me the Spanish Steps
are centered on your tongue
and Caesar could content himself with
California wine had he your eyes to follow
and your breath to capture with his own breath.
We'll go to Rome
as slowly as you like
and be there by tonight.
- from "Fields of Wonder", 1971