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
Eugenia, Countess of
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.