Portraits - Poem by Lola Ridge
Your love was like moonlight turning harsh things to beauty, so that little wry souls reflecting each other obliquely as in cracked mirrors… beheld in your luminous spirit their own reflection, transfigured as in a shining stream, and loved you for what they are not.
You are less an image in my mind than a luster I see you in gleams pale as star-light on a gray wall… evanescent as the reflection of a white swan shimmering in broken water.
(To E. S.)
Unwieldy with enormous births,
Lying on your back, eyes open, sucking down stars,
Or you kissing and picking over fresh deaths…
Filth… worms… flowers…
Green and succulent pods…
Of dark water germinal with lilies…
All in you from the beginning…
Nothing buried or thrown away…
Only the moon like a white sheet
Spread over the dead you carry.
Passing under a cloud
Caught on his white back
You… drop of crystal rain.
Now you gleam softly triumphant
Folding immensities of light.
(To O. F. T.)
You have always gotten up after blows
And smiled… and shaken off the dust…
Only you could not shake the darkness
From off the bruised brown of your eyes.
(To E. A. R.)
Centuries shall not deflect nor many suns absorb your stream, flowing immune and cold between the banks of snow. Nor any wind carry the dust of cities to your high waters that arise out of the peaks and return again into the mountain and never descend.
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