Monday, June 20, 2011

Body and Soul

"Love involves a peculiar unfathomable combination of understanding
and misunderstanding."
–Diane Arbus

I cannot imagine living long
without women in my life.
I do not know what that makes me
in the parlance of the day,
nor does my soul care
as much as my body.
The rules are like flags without wind.
You see them but they fly without you.
They belong to some other country.

I refuse to tell women what men say
when the sky clouds over.
Some tell me what they think I feel,
others choose to map my heart’s
direction. I know only
I cannot help but comply
with what the body desires
which my soul believes
is necessary.

Let the rules be frayed,
rip apart in winter, fly off
shredded into the March distance.
Only women have love to give me
and I take and give love back
and it does not matter if it is a city
or these woods, though I prefer the city.
There are so many mysteries,
turn a corner and in the mind's eye see,

in her words, "a secret about a secret.
The more it tells you the less you know."
As for where I am now,
remembering–and it is warm–
I try to understand Turgenev:
"The heart of another is a dark forest."

In these woods all the coronas

of your beauty light the dark.
If I have failed all of you,
this is no mea culpa, only a pact with you:

I know no other way but to love you
for whom you were and are.

(20 June 2011)

copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander


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