Your eyes were gem-like in that dim deep chamber
Hushed and sombre with imprisoned fire,
With yellow ghostly globes of intense aether
Potent as the rays of pure desire.
Your voice was startled into vivid wonder,
When the winged wild whining mystic wheel
Took flight and shot the dark with frosty crashings
Like an ice-berg splitting to the keel.
Your flesh was never warmer to my passion
Than when, moving in that lumor green,
We saw with eyes our fragile bones enamoured
Clasping sadly on the pallid screen.
You seemed so virginal and so undreaming
Of the burning hunger in my eyes,
To peer more fever-deeply in your being
Than the very death of passion lies.
The subtle-tuned shy motions of your spirit,
Fashioned through the ages for the sun,
Were dumb in that green lustre-haunted cavern
Where you walked a naked skeleton;
Slim-hipped and fluent and of lovely motion,
Living to the tip of every bone,
And ah, too exquisitely vivid-moving
Ever to lie wanly down alone—
To lie forever down so still and slender,
Tracing on the ancient screen of night
That naked and pale writing of the wonder
Of your beauty breathing in the light.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on January 29, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.