Monday, June 2, 2014

The Liasion



I must leave. Signs indicate we should part; I grieve deeply

and  give  you my last words, my blessing in wine

pressed from the vein. my own blood, my love which  longeth

after thee....

                                           Eugenia, Countess  of Kent 1783




Before sleep, pears in the pewter bowl

remained unsliced. Lilies glistened

against their green leaves in the candle glow

 and she slit part of her arm

with a paring knife. On its pearl handle

white swirled in a pattern --mimicking her thoughts

soon to script the page in blood. She drew just enough

to use for ink. A letter to him. Brief  but bearing

a vintage pathos in her twenty-fourth year.




During sleep, she saw water running

off the stone roof of the summer house.

Its clean cascade pouring

along hillside steps -- layered like her skirts,

the ribbons in her hair, the lace on his shirt.

All falling intricately -so dependent

upon each other to make

 the grounds beautiful and the body's inhabitant

happy. She felt its reassuring rhythm. the pant

of  deer coming to drink from the bottom pool,

the spread of wings landing in the cool wetness,

the blending of human shadows.




After sleep, she rises turning with a stitch

in her side, a slight prick like that of a spindle

or quill tip. On the desk, a plume softens

the stiff paper stained with her farewell.

The black feather reminds her  of the bird

in the dream. A black-capped gull

flying inland, returning to keep

its tryst with the trees and man-made brook,

a gush of elation.


Quickly, she tears the letter, shredding  evening's psalm,

 and waits for him to come. They will share some fruit

barely ripened and a rain shower falling

on the hills in grey light.

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