Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour

Light the first light of evening, as in a room

In which we rest and, for small reason, think

The world imagined is the ultimate good.

This is, therefore, the intensest rendezvous.

It is in that thought that we collect ourselves,

Out of all the indifferences, into one thing:

Within a single thing, a single shawl

Wrapped tightly round us, since we are poor, a warmth,

A light, a power, the miraculous influence.

Here, now, we forget each other and ourselves.

We feel the obscurity of an order, a whole,

A knowledge, that which arranged the rendezvous.

Within its vital boundary, in the mind.

We say God and the imagination are one…

How high that highest candle lights the dark.

Out of this same light, out of the central mind,

We make a dwelling in the evening air,

In which being there together is enough.

– Wallace Stevens

The Husband Sings to his Love

She appeared on my chest
tattooed like age
and pain.

Like a soft flock of hills
whose course returns with dawn,

My beloved speaks
with a love that barely holds
the heart of the day and a barefoot voice.

Under my shadow
her hips were hemmed by flesh.

For me she drives the cattle of dawn
with her breasts,

And the afternoon breaks loose to her passing
like wounded reeds
and half-opened laurel.

Eyelids traveled
by snow and midday,

A well where my unbridled
mouth slides
like a torrent of doves
and dampened salt.

—Clusters of anger and a vocation of kisses
were placed upon your thighs.

I will make bouquets of water
fall beneath your thighs,
and faltered spumes
and secret flocks.

Come,
Beloved.

The trees
all possess your candid stature,
your fallen eyelids,
and your dampened gesture,

Building of larks
inhabited by climates
where the sun rules
over golden vineyards.
Wild birds
will find me at your shadow.

Your voice of fallen air
among four white lillies
will march through my ear
as the afternoon approaches.

Come,
I will savor you with joy.
You will dream of me
tonight.

– Eunice Odio

Eroded

Eroded by

the beamwind of your speech

the gaudy chatter of the pseudo-

experienced-my hundred-

tongued perjury-

poem, the noem

Hollow-

whirled.

free
the path through the men-

shaped snow,

the penitent’s snow, to

the hospitable

glacier-parlours and -tables

Deep

in the timecrevasse,

in the

honeycomb-ice

waits a breathcrystal,

your unalterable

testimony.

– Paul Celan

The Dark Night

One dark night,
fired with love’s urgent longings
– ah, the sheer grace! –
I went out unseen,
my house being now all stilled.

In darkness, and secure,
by the secret ladder, disguised,
– ah, the sheer grace! –
in darkness and concealment,
my house being now all stilled.

On that glad night,
in secret, for no one saw me,
nor did I look at anything,
with no other light or guide
than the one that burned in my heart.

This guided me
more surely than the light of noon
to where he was awaiting me
– him I knew so well –
there in a place where no one appeared.

O guiding night!
O night more lovely than the dawn!
O night that has united
the Lover with his beloved,
transforming the beloved in her Lover.

Upon my flowering breast
which I kept wholly for him alone,
there he lay sleeping,
and I caressing him
there in a breeze from the fanning cedars.

When the breeze blew from the turret,
as I parted his hair,
it wounded my neck
with its gentle hand,
suspending all my senses.

I abandoned and forgot myself,
laying my face on my Beloved;
all things ceased; I went out from myself,
leaving my cares
forgotten among the lilies.

– San Juan de la Cruz

The Death of Lovers

We shall have beds full of subtle perfumes,
Divans as deep as graves, and on the shelves
Will be strange flowers that blossomed for us
Under more beautiful heavens.

Using their dying flames emulously,
Our two hearts will be two immense torches
Which will reflect their double light
In our two souls, those twin mirrors.

Some evening made of rose and of mystical blue
A single flash will pass between us
Like a long sob, charged with farewells;

And later an Angel, setting the doors ajar,
Faithful and joyous, will come to revive
The tarnished mirrors, the extinguished flames.

– Charles Baudelaire