Fragmentary, unabashed, erotic—“Lifting Belly” is a singular lesbian love poem from modernist Gertrude Stein (1874–1946) which lays bare desire and easy intimacy.
What is it when it’s upset. It isn’t in the room. Moonlight and darkness. Sleep and not sleep. We sleep every night.
What was it.
I said lifting belly.
You didn’t say it.
I said I mean lifting belly.
Don’t misunderstand me.
Do you lift everybody in that way.
You are to say No.
How are you.
Lifting belly how are you lifting belly.
We like a fire and we don’t mind if it smokes.
—From “Lifting Belly”
Each palm-size book in the Counterpoints series is meant to stay with you, whether safely in your pocket or long after you turn the last page. From short stories to essays to poems, these little books celebrate our most-beloved writers, whose work encapsulates the spirit of Counterpoint Press: cutting-edge, wide-ranging, and independent.