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Sharon Olds

Sharon Olds

Sharon Olds currently teaches poetry workshops at New York University's Graduate Creative Writing Program as well as a workshop at Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island in New York. She was elected as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2006. She lives in New York City.

Ode To The Condom

Rubber; safe; French letter; sleeve;
protector of the young so young
they do not yet exist; separator
of male and female; bundling board down the
middle of a Shaker bed; mechitzah
down the aisle of an Orthodox synagogue;      
veil between the matters which create
spirit; Trojan; trumpet mute;
latex; superfine; reservoir tip;
Ramses, Fourex—some actually
made of sheep intestine, sparkling
with mammalian life, I never liked you.
Of course I'd hardly recognize
you now, what with your flavors, your Ribbed
for Her, your cap and bells, but bless you:
separator of girls and women
from abortion; separator of health
from death; separator of male
from male; of well from ill—costume of the
life force, best friend of the earth.

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