Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Aphrodite to Mars

Inspired by James Hillman’s Blue Fire

I see you flex your muscles, Mars,
and seize my words like stones, to be
crushed with firm warrior pleasure
upon this table where we dine:
this ceremonial table,
freshly polished with cedar wax,
dressed with flowers from the garden,
brightened with seven tall candles.

Mars, my darling, you are so dark:
your face is dark, your eyes are dark,
your voice is a thundering cloud.
The softness of the light prepared
to woo you (fond and foolishly)
instead conjures shadows that split
these skin-bound bodies, yours and mine,
into our ancient opposites -
core and shell, tower and cavern.

I am no match for you, dear Mars,
for I am quite undone you see
when we spar thus with weapon-words:
duelling turns you male and casts me
archetypal into virgin;
doe-eyed, sacrificial woman;
orphan child who falls through language
stuttering, tongue-tied and alarmed.

No need for war. Rather I would
press your lips to my full chalice;
would rather stroke your curls and part
my own to let your tongue unfurl,
lengthen, enter wetly into
deep communication with my
secretly enveloped poem,
then sound my name – Aphrodite.

So bring not that sword of cold iron
that shrinks the flesh back to the bone.
But raise your burning spear and I
will welcome it within my sheath,
will let it flare and rage until
we’re tired of fire and ravishment.
Sleepily will we then tangle
Our dismemberments together.

Oh love, we dream, we touch, we yield:
our sexes’ war goes underground.
Sweet, I want to bathe with you. Let’s
join our differences in floods of
ecstasy, forgetting the lie
of our impossibility,
letting our imaginations
flow within the unknowable.

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