Mistress Vampire, by ROBIN MORGAN
That every artery your slow spine branches
is for me to prune--all play of sinew
skeletoned, eyes socketed, hips, haunches,
smile, and walnut brain decaying tissues
ripe as my fear that defoliates this midnight--
that what you are is lost to me as if
I never knew you, that even our love’s sweat
dries on the skin in seconds: not for myself
I mourn, though you melt through my flesh
like a bullet’s silver,
sing like a splintered stake green in my heart.
I who enshroud your human shape could labor
to turn you immortal, but love that art
less than your waking, dawn-lit, alive, alone.
Why do you lie so still? What have I done?
From “Upstairs in the Garden” (W. W. Norton: $9.95, paper; 251 pp.) 1991 by Robin Morgan. Reprinted with permission.