When I trace the yield
and shiver of your breast
your breath catches each time new...

I follow the schooling of your blood
to where the pulse breaches
just below the surface,
chafing the delicate skin,
smudging the round root
woman smell of you.

         — Steve Richardson
                   from Schooling


“Both sexual love and spiritual experience are engaged in the activity of union, of becoming one with the Other. This is why these are probably the two most powerful forces in most people’s lives, because both Eros and spirit return us to the original nature of Being. Everything else is some distortion of that fundamental longing.

— Jane Hirshfield, The Eros Interview

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this art and all art in issue by douglas utter