The Lesser Song Of Songs, Which Is Sheba’s (With Apologies To King James)

By: Kurt Luchs


Let him not kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy tongue is as a lizard’s tail, which pulled off doth regrow tenfold. Nor yet with the kisses of his nose, for thy nose runneth over. Nor yet with the kisses of his ears: for thou art truly weird to ponder such a thing.

Thine ointments cleave to me, and their savour doth repell insects and anything that breathes; yea, even the Shittites avoid me, and I cannot get a table at the palace cafeteria.

I have compared thee, O my love, to a herd of mountain goats leaping from a cliff: the sound of their skulls when they land is sweet and comely. Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant, nay, bland as a potato baked in polyunsaturated fats: also thy concubines are tax-deductible.

A bundle of old clothes for Amvets is my beloved unto me; he shall lie all night bewtixt my breasts, not knowing what to do with them.


Stay me with flagstones, comfort me with knockout drops: for I am sick of love. His left hand is under my head, but his right hand doth embrace himself.

The voice of my beloved! Behold, he cometh leaping on toe shoes, skipping like a gigolo, tripping on his hem. Verily, he hath borrowed my eye makeup once too often.

My beloved is like a white, white rat: behold, he standeth behind our wall looking for table scraps, he looketh forth at the windows when I dress, shewing himself through the lattice.

My beloved is mine, and I am his, yea, though we file separately.


By night on my bed I sought him whom my purse loveth: I sought him, but I found him not. I sought him under the bed, but I found him not. I sought him in my closet, and there I thought I found him trying on my silks, but it was only a manniken.

I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets carrying a shopping bag full of old bus transfers and speaking to myself. I will seek him whom my purse loveth, for he must cosign my checks.

The watchmen that go about the city beating anything that moves found me; to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my purse loveth? They smiled and pointed to their foreheads, nodding sagely like my beloved.


Behold, thou art fair, my love: thou hast a set of Mediterranean bedroom eyes, of simulated walnut, marked down 60 percent for the holidays. Thy hair hath been washed in the blood of the lamb, but thou hast forgot to rinse.

Thy tooth shines in the night like a piece of eggplant on the bald dome of the Pharoah.

The smell of thy garments is like unto the smell of Gary, Indiana with all of the chief spices: oregano, jalapeno and monosodium glutamate.


Thy nose is as the tower of Sears which looketh toward Skokie.


I try to sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh like a bottle launching a ship, saying, Open to me, my love, for my head is filled with good wine and evil thoughts. But I moved my dresser in front of the door and he went away.

My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, but I slapped it. My drawers were not moved for him, and he went away.

The watchmen that went about the city stomping anything that wriggles found me, they smote me, they pushed me into some sweet-smelling goulash; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me. Then they screamed and gave it back.


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