Before the third day,

the day of departure and forgetting,

through half the night

I utter her name,

alternating it with the name of God.

Like Beatrice she smiles at me

her smile of total understanding

and acquiescence.

All night my hands rove

over the same territories of desire

until they are sore,

the same three and a half cubits

of flesh and blood, now warm

and pliant under my electric fingers.

Then she lies quietly in my arms.

On waking I find myself

abandoned in an empty bed

and ah! such desolation of the spirit...

My soul howls like a hyena

it's cry of primeval anguish--

where is my fullness?  Who has stolen

my ecstasies?  Why is the thorn of love

lodged so deeply in my breast?

As the day smiles on the wreckage of my dreams,

somewhere in the corner of my mind

she still smiles at me

that smile of fixed, vacant sanction

as empty and meaningless

as that of a marionette.

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  Copyright © 2005 - Makarand Paranjape