Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Love Incarnate

                        (Dante, Vita Nuova)


To all those driven berserk or humanized by love
this is offered, for I need help 
deciphering my dream.
When we love our lord is LOVE.

When I recall that at the fourth hour
of the night, watched by shining stars,
LOVE at last became incarnate,
the memory is horror.

In his hands smiling LOVE held my burning
heart, and in his arms, the body whose greeting
pierces my soul, now wrapped in bloodred, sleeping.

He made him wake. He ordered him to eat
my heart. He ate my burning heart. He ate it
submissively, as if afraid, as LOVE wept.

Credit


From Desire, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1997. Copyright © 1997 by Frank Bidart. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Author


Frank Bidart

Frank Bidart was born in Bakersfield, California, in 1939.

Date Published: 1997-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/love-incarnate