Russell Thornton

Thirst - Poem by Russell Thornton

The card you gave me, your small handwriting
on the back - is gone. But the deep black ink
of the artist's drawing pen stayed with me,
and the ancient couplets became the dark
that holds the living organs, the same dark
through which the deer runs, giving off thin smoke
as it seeks the stream. I enter that dark
now in sleep, and I hear you: What you bear,
I will like my own body bear and tend.
I will be the breath in the animal
that pants and whose heart chants through it,
that burns like the one fire in a night camp,
and that departs from the night where it thirsts
to find the waters when the sun appears.

All this time you have been the one in me
who arrives and stands with me at the stream,
where I seem to sleep instantly, my breath
unseen rungs that lower me down. The wound
in the deer is memory of waters
and allows the deer to bow, drink. Ripples
in the quick flowing melt me. Whatever
my desire is, here it finds change. I wake
burning but becoming dark and more dark
and moving through the touch of water. Wake
within pure explanation: I am what
I come to, and always I come to you -
to know you is to want like fire, water,
to remember the first fire, first waters.

Topic(s) of this poem: love

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 11, 2014

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