Appassionata

I.

Speak to me of passion.

 

Serve up the sweet slices,

alien fruit in its liquored blood,

stark and fragrant on the plate,

swift-fire certain in the mouth.

 

Fan up the guttering torches.

 

A touch, a glance,

a dark-induced fever clutches my heart

like the language of cellos.

My bare stone rooms grow warm.

 

I have been a foolish wanton,

 

baiting the priest-birds

with the bread of my flesh,

ringing the desperate bells,

impaled on the spikes of the lily.

 

Wake me from my funeral,

 

from this night-poisoned fugue.

I have entered the church unaware.

Lay me down on the altar of silk

and sacrifice me with a kiss.

 

II.

Candles kneel in their dishes,

praying on the altar of fruit and knives.

We are one house by the marcasite sea,

one fortress rising bone on bone.

 

I fall from grace into ecstasy,

taste blood and oranges, the deep salt shock

of your wounded finger, nicked in the carving.

One red pearl sings like a choir on my tongue.

 

Moon-white blade releases tentative scarlet –

dark flavor of communion, of sugar and stones –

mocking the sweet, marble-skinned divinity of pears.

The luminous cloth is dotted like a bridal sheet.

 

III.

Now I dwell in the realm of the body,

in honeyed nights, a garden grown wild.

Breasts are moons of vast holiness,

or planets, weighed and worshipped.

 

I am enchanted by the glow of the long bones,

the ankles’ rolling machinery,

toes like prayer beads, milky opals,

or stars among the vines and flowers.

 

Pressed to the silks, I’m a scrapbook rose,

a memento in the heavy dark.

I am sweet like melon, basic as seawater,

A velvet pelt, stretched and petted.

 

Like shadows, I devour you.

 

e.yon/2002/Fruit & Bones chapbook

 

 

 

 

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