Objects of Desire


Of course, a woman's body is an object of desire,

but it is not the body itself which is desirable;

rather, the idea of desire anticipated in the body

enthrals.  When just the body of a woman is given,

it's very availability sometimes leaves him cold.

He sees, touches, tastes, smells, hears that body,

enters and re-enters it at will; fondles, manipulates, even

hurts it, attempting to extract some pleasure or comfort

yet it yields nothing--no joy, no solace, no peace,

no satisfaction.  He wonders where he went wrong,

what he did or didn't do.  The body in his arms is

incomprehensible, itself puzzled over its inability

to attract or arouse.  It is only when the body dissolves,

ceases to be mere flesh, but is transformed into a figure

of Eros, that the sleeping senses are aroused, like flares

in a dark night;  then, the boundaries between two beings

are banished, making both an interplay of passion and prayer.



from an object of desire

i’ve turned—into a desiring subject.

but if you think i’ve directed my mad

medusa stare to chill your male gaze

you’re mistaken.  look into my eyes

carefully.  they’re not focussed on you,

nor do they invite you into the frame,

offering rare pleasures, unknown adventures;

i neither wish to tempt nor turn you to stone.

beyond you lies another horizon far

more profound and clear, where even the

seagulls do not go, where sky meets the sea

and the grey earth mates the white mist;

there i’ll venture before you and flow

in such secret splendour that my desire

will shimmer over the waters or speckle

the sky with little stars, gently shining

in the distant gloom. 

Back to Selected Poems from Partial Disclosure

  Copyright © 2005 - Makarand Paranjape