Can there alight so fair a symbol
as a butterfly whose flight arrested,
stays upon my shoulder just as if
you sent it there, suggested
through an energy defined
in your own sweetness, your own touch
beyond carnality, where spirit plays?
Can I not gaze from Venice on a dry
and alien plain and see your name enshrined?
And hear the gondoliers, who only gaze
beneath their stance at lovers far removed
from astral bliss, and barely listen
as they throw their songs
at queens of earthen skies?
It is of you to make of flesh and breath
a sacrament profane and numinous.
It is of you to fill my being
with a panoply of wealth I never thought to see--
of art from eastern shores,
of part of every day's delight
in birth and death
repeated, mystery transcending time
with life and lust and lepidoptera
pervading every thought of you I own.
How rare among the brightest stars you are!
for none but you can shine upon one man
and there complete twin souls--
one love sublime
This poem was written long ago for
one person, but I have chosen to share
it now. The name of the lover is
embedded in the second stanza,
and explains the location, the contrasting
foil for that location, and the last line of
the stanza. Only those who may determine
that name (which has a double identity)
through the clues here, will understand
the relevance of each line of the stanza.