On repurposing old books at the summer place
As tinder, bodice-rippers are the best.
The crumpled pages of Untold Desire
or Stranger Island or The Knight’s Behest
ignite the sparks that feed a cottage fire.
The smoke of Kiss of Silk swirls up the flue
along with golden licks of Desperate Dream,
while Innocence Betrayed and Lost in You
and Wanton Duchess still evoke their steam.
Which twisted plot engenders this fine glow
where leaping flames like dragon wings unfurl?
Whose heart beat faster fifty years ago,
enraptured by a pirate or an earl?
Forbidden lust stirs up the latent blaze
of romance in this summertime retreat,
remaindered fuel from the olden days
of fantasy to warm my cold, cold feet.
Forever a formalist, Barbara Loots is proud to have been published recently in two anthologies, Extreme Sonnets II and Extreme Formal Poems, from Rhizome Press. She has also broken through the free verse bias at I-70 Review and Thorny Locust. She commends Better Than Starbucks as a paragon of diversity.