Treasure Island

Frank Bidart


Dark Night


In a dark night, when the light
burning was the burning of love (fortuitous
night, fated, free,--)
as I stole from my dark house, dark
house that was silent, grave, sleeping,--

by the staircase that was secret, hidden,
safe: disguised by darkness (fortuitous
night, fated, free,--)
by darkness and by cunning, dark
house that was silent, grave, sleeping--;

in that sweet night, secret, seen by
no one and seeing
nothing, my only light or
guide
the burning in my burning heart,

night was the guide
to the place where he for whom I
waited, whom I had long ago chosen,
waits: night
brighter than noon, in which none can see--;

night was the guide
sweeter than the sun raw at
dawn, for there the burning bridegroom is
bride
and he who chose at last is chosen.


*

As he lay sleeping on my sleepless
breast, kept from the beginning for him
alone, lying on the gift I gave
as the restless
fragrant cedars moved the restless winds,--

winds from the circling parapet circling
us as I lay there touching and lifting his hair,--
with his sovereign hand, he
wounded my neck-
and my senses, when they touched that, touched nothing...

In a dark night (there where I
lost myself,--) as I leaned to rest
in his smooth white breast, everything
ceased
and left me, forgotten in the grave of forgotten lilies.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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