Lynne Savitt

Sex & Dignity

a white hospital blanket covered your feeding
tube yr eyes closed peaceful as a corpse yr
glasses resting on yr flat broken nose pale
as i’ve ever seen you in over forty years loving
you i kissed yr forehead warm & wrinkled smile
came to yr face opening yr eyes “my princess”
you said to my daughter who left the room to
give us privacy “touch my cock,” you asked &
as if we were in the prison visiting room i reached
under the starched sheet searching for yr penis
but I couldn’t find a quarter inch o the almost
eight i remembered ‘’where is it?’’ i asked ‘’it’s gone’’
‘’under the diaper i’m wearing, ‘’ you answered
SEX AFTER SIXTY was a book i used to shelve
while working at b. dalton’s when i was in my
twenties never looking ahead to the rules it
listed put away yr medications & photos of yr
grandkids no where was a chapter on diapers
or arthritic hands that could freeze in permanent
grip if i tried a hospital hand job to take care
of you need more than i could ever give i’m
remarried now living hundreds of miles
away i am still yr healthcare proxy & to you
still responsible for yr shy cock swaddled
in a paper diaper yearning to be a warrior again


Lynne Savitt studied with Diane Wakoski in the early seventies and subsequently taught writing workshops at various colleges, community centers and prisons. Her first poem was published in Playgirl magazine in 1974. Over the years her poems have appeared in dozens of literary magazines, including 13th Moon, Second Coming, Home Planet News, and Poetry Now. She has been a featured poet online from Desolation Angels and Rusty Truck. She was the recipient of the Madeline Sadin Poetry Award from the New York Quarterly. She co-founded and edited Gravida and co-edited Caprice and was also a contributing editor to Redstart and StonyHills. Savitt has twelve published poetry collections. Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1947, she is a single parent of two children and grandmother of seven. She resides on eastern Long Island.