Two Sonnets for February
Herodias' child, the veils, as you dance,
Make stormy seas of color, hide, reveal,
Pander your cool purpose, accent and conceal.
This is a song of love, but not romance;
That is a mime of lust, your hungry dance.
One, and the effect is to distract. The eye,
Caught catlike by the flight of colorhigh,
Rich royal wing, quick wave of cochineal
Follows, drawn from your skin, the woven peel
Till two, an emerald square, forces the glance
To the statuary center, clenched by sudden
Static, now the pace all honey in your feet.
Words are in your eyes. Above the edge they meet
Mine; it falls, then three, black Nile mud and
Four, blood's crimson, stir unmingled, mud and
Rubies spinning form from chaos where you meet
And shape the shapeless. Shining jeweled feet
Strike unyielding stone, bells cry sudden
Hue and five falls, Turkish green. I glance
At fragments--belly, shoulder, heel; I peel
With dreaming vision, one more cochineal
And six, as if obeying, flies, impelled, high
Then plummeting, bound to a buckle. But my eye,
Impatient for an end, seizes once again the dance
When seven, bone-white seven falls, necromance
White, and the music halts. No reason to conceal
The depths of your desire; time now to reveal,
On silver plate, the object of your dance.