In the Shadow of the Contained
Cynical, I’d thought you at first; and judgmental.
But when you laugh, your face relaxes –
A smile teased out of a little boy in an unknown Italian painting.
Your cheekbones, are they high or low? Moustache? Glasses?
I’ve never noticed, nor the rest of you, having been mired
In thoughts and words, a slate erased.
But laughter remembers you, and wisdom depends.
When you speak, I touch not you
But Freud’s paintings that illuminate
Sylvia Plath’s sojourns along telephone poles,
And Van Gogh’s leg doubled in an agony of thrusting efforts,
The suffering of rainbows curved around fatherless eyes,
And graveyards of regrets in the man condemned.
And though essentially different, you remain of the same essence as I,
Giving words to my unthought, voice to my unsaid,
A reflection of the punitive fires of my soul
The fires you stole from the gods to weave
The cocoon that my puerile longings are contained in.
Your burdens bear heavy in a heart that mends my day
But I’ve lacked the courage to ask: “Are you tired?
And will the gods forgive you?”
*Just a middle-of-the-night dream of angels…….and demons. Of the sacred….and the profane. . .an unrealized vision of paradise.
** The last line used to be “And do the gods forgive you?”…but I do have the creative license
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