A non-sappy love poem

The Gates

Seen objectively, by a man at the window
we do not look like much; A woman
and a man on a red leather couch,
coke bottles everywhere and a filthy throw,
also red, already unraveling, wound round
our legs, binding us like threads of blood.

You are short, fair, very stocky, with a face
which swerves between nobility and petulance.
I am long and dark with matted hair,
braided, my head culminating in nose,
with an expression of thought, easily mistaken,
because of my gender, for the more banal sort of worry.

This is what the observer, not
objective, and lacking vision,
could never comprehend. As I fritter
the hours on keyboarded words
and you run one thick hand
down the length of my thigh, accompanied
by blaring television, we are in the throes
of deep creation; a task in which two
are occupied though only one acts.

You hold the rope as I delve down,
leaving the rooms of our close flat,
a cord round my waist,
a taut crimson thread; I plunge
to that river where the water is strong
enough to stop my breathing,
the taste so sweet it halts my heart.

You brace me; an anchor, who bolts
me to this visible earth, while I shunt
to the places that foxes know of, where bodies
stiffen, and the dead shades rise
to take their fill from Hecate’s red ewer,
avoiding the face of the goddess who smiles,
trying not to identify the taste, the rich salt
flavors mingled there in her brimming bowl.

You enable me to go so much deeper
than I would otherwise dare travel,
and your form highlights your function,
your incredible force. And when I have the gift,
the vivid, longed for treasure, held firm
in my hands, I nod my head in thanks
to the goddess, tugging at the binding flax,
and it is the strength of both our arms
which helps me rise to the filthy
surface of the part-seen earth.

Now, when I rise up, gasping beside you,
your hands in my hair, holding me up
by the back of my throat, know my love,
that we are mythic; the bride of Orpheus,
the musician himself, sitting on a dead
cow sofa with their genders reversed. Feed
on that knowledge, when the world leaves you
hungry, consume it in your valorous heart.
It is the unseen splendor of our love.


About Bethany W Pope

Bethany W Pope was named by the Huffington Post as ‘one of the five Expat poets to watch in 2016’. Nicholas Lezard, writing for The Guardian, described her latest collection as 'poetry as salvation'.....'This harrowing collection drawn from a youth spent in an orphanage delights in language as a place of private escape.' Bethany has won many literary awards and published several collections of poetry. Her first novel, Masque, was published by Seren in 2016. Her second novel, Ordinary Lives: The Ballad of John and Mary, was published in 2018. Follow her on Twitter @BethanyWPope

Posted on June 7, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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