Behind lowered eyes, her women
translate the minstrels’ code. It was
no simpering seduction, modest
between maiden sheets. Hard-nippled,
damp in the crutch and hot
for satisfaction, Astolat’s tart
undresses, aching to haul
buck Lancelot between her knees.
They know the unspoken dimensions
of tale and truth, the acreage
of chivalry’s cool whispering and
the eavesdropped gasping behind
knight-errantry’s curtain. She comes
shameless and panting to him.
They know the squeal necessities
of flesh, the sorceries of lust,
that courtly gestures in a tale’s romance
disguise the buffet of arses,
the truth and smells of beds,
with a lie’s lacquer and confection’s
panoplies to costume a shag.
Text © Keith Howden