Here an unplucked bud, friskily curved,
whispers breathing in my attentive ear
to drink from the Euphrates, or the Amazon.
But drink fast, first a sea of rose, or gin,
To task with unbinding that prick within,
Of prying Spirit, wedged against the flesh.
Had Eden such a wall as this? Or vineyards
To supply the will to scale or raze it?
Unfurling petals play upon my cheek,
and undefine what’s strong or weak
Or wanted. The cosmos, in eternal stillness,
Agape, a void, awaits an answer to Venus’
Moaning, from afar across the chasm that
A sea of gin or rose cannot seem to brim,
Nor drown the prying Spirit’s hymn –
Oh Menace! that ‘twixt two immolations,
Sets so profound an opposition, when
In essence they are one! “The strongest
Oaths are straw to th’ fire i’ th’ blood.”
But ne’er an oath was taken by this bud
Unfurling at my breast; nor mine binding!
Sweet nectar, pressing on my skin,
Whose swoon-inducing taste is hinted
In this slaking proximity I inhale;
Arouses twin wills, and one must fail
Against the other. Whose fallow field
I’m pausing in, that wildflowers proffer
Soft beds to lie in? And prying Spirits
To shadow them, and will not cease,
Nor silence? That here cannot be peace
Among what’s right and wrong and wanted,
Keeps this flower’s slender stem
From tender plucking. Call it ‘Grace,’
That stalemate long denies the pleasure.
The title veils my worth and measure.