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from Love's Dance.

   It was bewitching, your open hand
   Motionless, mute, but resolute,
   Commanding. Of course I followed, past
   Lights first dim, then sordid--bright
   As a marquee of the underworld.
   Your animal heat. Your heart in full gallop.
   I gripped you with my heels, fingers
   Knotted into your hair. I saw my blue coat
   Transformed into a dune-colored cape.
   Day and night. That urge and charge. Then
   I got down on all fours, accepted the bit.
   I, for whom solitude was as vast as the prairie!
   Loving you shed light on the catastrophes of history.
   Still, certain questions continue to saddle me.
   Music falls measure by measure
   To the floor, but desire is a striptease
   Performed in reverse. The heart's ore
   Buried miles deep, and for what?
   I shrink even from myself. I wish
   I could get out from under the sky,
   Which handles me with an infuriating
   familiarity. But that day--your hand--
   What happened deep in the mountain of me.
   And then the mine in collapse. The shaft
   Choked with smoke. Voice burying voice.
   An absence of air, preponderance of pitch.
   I don't want to know, or understand, or be restored
   To reason. In the wake of that treason, I am still
   Domitable, a claim in wait. I am still
   Possessed of my depths. I am still willing.
   I am on my way, on my way to you,
   Striding the earth, it seems, the tundra
   Between us, though I am nearing you now,
   Nearing the tropics of your chest, that island
   Around which the water roils and swells.
   I am closer now than before, though time
   Gapes wide like a cavern, a jittery fault I'm
   Afraid to cross. I want you seismographically.
   I fight with me, with my urge to heave myself
   Like a pitched ball at the distant wall
   Of you. And like a dog, I am yanked back.
   By time, is it, in some jealous, sadistic fit?
   Me, I'm moth-minded, livid in my need
   For shock, for heat, for the piercing electric
   Screech of you. I was so angry once, a bay
   Of hostility. What if I stop now, and let myself be
   Lapped against like a barrier of rocks? Not
   The sharp edged gnarled ones that wink
   Out beyond the borders of safety, but
   The gentle ones that seem to sleep here
   Chastely in a little heap. 
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Author:Yi Lei
Publication:Harvard Review
Article Type:Excerpt
Date:Jun 1, 2016
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