She sat there on the fire-pitched
roof looking back at me,
her thoughts as mine
despondent as the day is long.
Hour on hour she watched the moon,
intrepid to desire, the sallow sea below
stiffening to her bleak eyes; slip-
page of a world to night composed.
Could she have known, troubling
those black stars above, it would come to this;
a moment shriven, street-plumbed:
craving all she could give or be?
If any doubt the truth of it, cast a dark eye
upon these cursed lays, hear the bittern’s cry;
for she will not speak of it; nor in her separate
dream bring mention to the alter of her mind.
She lays before me now, bitter and accursed;
thinking what may come, will come; knowing
that even if this broken testament of love is lost,
cast down; she’ll ply her tokens to a wheel of fortune.
What now of her sordid histories, erotic therapy?
Who lives among these pealed dreams,
the labors of an hour, spent
wandering on shores the mind forgets?
If I could bring her back again,
brink-wise to this voice, what splendor
found in utterance so pure and clear,
would find her ancient haughtiness dispelled?
So bright and full of music, her freedom
would once again meet mine, absolved
of temptation; her subtle mind’s inbreathings
gathering wit sharpened and unswept by strife.
Her bones all twisted now and weak,
her thoughts the things of minor transport;
yet, at times love’s sobriety still quickens her,
and in that absent smile she deftly summons me:
our House of Love we built so long ago,
when rivers young and bold strove
against our youthful bodies slow presumption;
we, even we, who discovered the alphabet of love
sparked wondrous occasion at such fierceness
and embattled knowledge: our duplicitous ways,
heart’s gifted by so desperate a choice, broke
steadfast wisdom against such cruelty and remorse;
that time, the maker’s curse, once brought us down
and with his lie made of us this object of derision:
a solitary voice among the multitudes, speaking
plainly of all that was and will be, the living worlds
before us, awakening; till time and mind,
and all the ancient despicable things
once again show forth their spark
of light to those who in the darkest secrecy
of their lives behold that which is always present,
never fading: the living waters that delivered us
to the earthly paradise of love, till we who see,
once again rise up, know and be, as we are, immortal.
– Steven Craig Hickman ©2015 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.