Tuesday, March 16, 2010

His Love Is My Banner

Let him kiss me with the answers of his mouth,
for your love is more delightful than wine, than sweet wine
sacrificed by blood-tinged hands at temples made by man
sweet man. You smell like myrrh and incense;
myrrh and incense reek of you.

The banquet of my king is praised
by madrigals and brassy flutes. They rise to dance and say,
We rejoice in and delight in him;
we praise his love above the wine he pours.

But as for me, I hunger here
among the plates of raisins, apples, pork,
dates and figs, and gold outlining every color
bubbling in these magic pots of promise-taste
and -smell. As for me,
I am exposed and panting in the desert,
though under domes of cedar and a banner breaking
love. Where are you? hiding

in the clefts of rock? among the lilies
and the vineyards we once tended? on the crags
and rugged edges of the mountains
you well know I cannot climb?

I strike out hall into darkness in panic,
with nothing but hunger
in my mouth and thin perfume to guide me
through twisting streets full of torches
and watchmen and winter.