Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Hawthorne Book of Shadows

With his eyes fixed on Paradise,
   the haunted Christian
blames the shadow. Plagued

by his own demons,
   soul bitten and loveless,
he is bound in the sackcloth of pride,

in cobwebs and ashes.
   While there, thrilled to the wild,
dizzying ride of the flesh,

of phallus and womb, the fresh
   dew of this world, the red,
simple wing of original joy,

like the berrying spring of a child's
   renewal, the Witch slips out
of the black diaphanous robe

of our common sleep. Behind
   that half-curtain, lives with the sharp
knowledge of danger (Do not, whatever

else you may do, be discovered!).
   Out of that horn of magic, desire,
flesh at once richer and paler than ivory

is bathed—Look!—in original light!
   ...Or are those only the elegant
ivory bars of the cage

in which both have been trapped:
   Earth-delighted no less than he
with his cross-obsessed pain?

While She-Without-Form,
   resurrected again and again,
cries out from the nailed thirst of this world

to our own resurrection, that single
   commandment: Love!—O heart's simple name!
O first and final salvation!