Sunday, June 24, 2007



Beloved, now you know me well enough
To know I’d rather die than face the truth—
Well, some truths—and the worst is, all the while
I claim to face it, claim to see it plain.

You listen, straining sense from all the guff,
And offer only this polite reproof:
You’ve walked this road, and know it, every mile:
How skin will claim the functions of the brain…

I listen to my skin and call it love,
Let loose in middle age the flames of youth.
Desire blinds me, and unconscious guile,
To all that says: it’s just your skin, and pain.

Yes, love is there, but roots in long desire,
I name and greet that liberating fire.


Our passions rule our pulse; no other way
Has ever been allowed the sons of man.

What patience you have shown! I stand in awe:
How clearly you must see my feet of clay.
Allow me this, though I deny the plan
The gods have wrought in me as living law:

Perhaps some day I’ll live out what I say,
Achieve that high possession of our clan:
The word and deed united without flaw.
I could not dream it, never make the play,
Except that one near-too-forgiving man
Nods, smiles, and makes me more than chaff and straw.
Come comfort me, let every doubt depart;
Expect the worst, hope for the best, my heart.


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