A Mona Lisa


I should like to creep
Through the long brown grasses
        That are your lashes;
I should like to poise
        On the very brink
Of the leaf-brown pools
        That are your shadowed eyes;
I should like to cleave
        Without sound,
Their glimmering waters,
        Their unrippled waters,
I should like to sink down
        And down
            And down . . . .
                And deeply drown.


Would I be more than a bubble breaking?
        Or an ever-widening circle
        Ceasing at the marge?
Would my white bones
        Be the only white bones
Wavering back and forth, back and forth
        In their depths?

From Caroling Dusk (Harper & Brothers, 1927), edited by Countee Cullen. This poem is in the public domain.