Sestina for Prolonging the Act of Lust
What are we after here? A little pain,
a little pleasure? Let’s talk some while
you’re on me, and I’m in you. At least
for the moment as the passion is spent.
We are growing deep within the belly
a passion strong enough to raise the dead.
It’s what you’re after isn’t it? Not dead
enough to give yourself over to pain
without pleasure in that spot below belly?
A second, a moment, something to while
away the time. Soldiers fought, freshly spent,
resting in the trench, they’ll guard at least
the passages which have seen the least.
There might be something to raising the dead.
Think of all the time that sorcerers spent,
and link it in your mind to the pain
at the demands of the hot body while
you wait just hanging about on a belly
for something more to do than nurse a belly
full of frustration and longing for the least
stimulation to keep the glow a while.
That’s the point I’m trying to make. The dead
aren’t really dead, just working through the pain,
a weariness, some frustration. A little spent
but believing in life. If only people spent
half as much time caring for a belly
as it fills up they’d laugh at the pain,
warding off sleep or giving up. The least
bit of joy grows pleasure and dead,
or not, we’ll enjoy and build while
others are just curling up to slumber; while
others allow desire to fade. They’re spent.
They can’t see what sorcery sees. The dead
are just waiting around on Hel’s belly,
resting. The flesh grows new strength. At least
they feel the laughter in pain.
Oh yes, the pain it lasts a while
and veils at least as much as was spent,
but the belly grows lively, below we move the dead.
first published in Living With a Stranger: self portrait, 1993. Also published in Love is Just Lust Misspelled, 1994.