Erica Jong

(26 March 1942 / New York City)

Middle Aged Lovers, Ii - Poem by Erica Jong

You open to me
a little,
then grow afraid
and close again,
a small boy
fearing to be hurt,
a toe stubbed
in the dark,
a finger cut
on paper.

I think I am free
of fears,
enraptured, abandoned
to the call
of the Bacchae,
my own siren,
tied to my own
mast,
both Circe
and her swine.

But I too
am afraid:
I know where
life leads.

The impulse
to join,
to confess all,
is followed
by the impulse
to renounce,

and love--
imperishable love--
must die,
in order
to be reborn.

We come
to each other
tentatively,
veterans of other
wars,
divorce warrants
in our hands
which we would beat
into blossoms.

But blossoms
will not withstand
our beatings.

We come
to each other
with hope
in our hands--
the very thing
Pandora kept
in her casket
when all the ills
and woes of the world
escaped.


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Read poems about / on: hope, dark, world, love, life, fear, war



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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