What Wild Dawns There Were
What wild dawns there were
in our first years here
when we would run outdoors naked
to pee in the long grass behind the house
and see over the hills such streamers,
such banners full of fire and blue (the blue
that is Lilith to full day’s honest Eve) —
What feathers of gold under the morning star
we saw from dazed eyes before
stumbling back to bed chilled with dew
to sleep till the sun was high!
Now if we wake early
we don’t go outdoors — or I don’t —
and you if you do go
rarely call me to see the day break.
I watch the dawn through glass: this year
only cloudless flushes of light, paleness
slowly turning to rose,
and fading subdued.
We have not spoken of these tired
risings of the sun.
My madness is dear to me.
I who was almost always the sanest among my friends,
one to whom others came for comfort,
now at my breasts (that look timid and ignorant,
that don’t look as if milk had flowed from them,
years gone by)
cherish a viper.
Hail, little serpent of useless longing
that may destroy me,
that bites me with such idle
I who am loved by those who love me
to whom life was an honest breath
taken in good faith,
I’ve forgotten how to tell joy from bitterness.
Dear to me, dear to me,
blue poison, green pain in the mind’s veins.
How am I to be cured against my will?