Sunday, July 07, 2013

Only the Dead...

—Photo by D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove

—Timothy Sandefur, Rescue

Only the dead can endure it in Paradise.
                   —Derek Walcott

Our longing fire reaches up,
Drawn toward the sky,
Where it is quenched with its desire
And in pale ashes dies.

Each icy stream refracts the light
Of burning stars so clear;
The merest sparks of distant rapture
Engulfing those too near:

The glorious oblivion
Of atoms that meet and fuse.
So we yearn for deadly union,
And thirst to be suffused.

In Heaven, ichor rolls in waves,
And those who wade from shore
Are drowned in their own sated dreams;
Swept away; absorbed.

So give me today my daily bread only.
Leave me unsatisfied;
Lest by consuming I be consumed,
And succor prove suicide.

And let me have eternity
Only in single bites,
And thimblefuls of your boundless love
Whispered in the night.