Love Prayer (Answer to ESM)

“Longing alone is singer to the lute.”  –Edna St. Vincent Millay

‘Let love be far and high’—a voice, still, clear,

spins out its thready tone from far away,

to cut my fingertips.  The tongues of day

blaze at the sound; her hair, her throat, her ear

sway gentle to the fluted atmosphere.

Let love be far away:  a lovely line,

her wake upon the waves, far, far from shore,

her breathing steady, and her body sure

in some smooth breaststroke.  Let love not be mine.

I watch and listen.  She alights at last,

then wings it up a mountain; she sings long

her Siren ode, and I, tied to my mast,

rejoice to feel my bonds, to feel her strong

voice quiver through my hands, to listen best

with common ears: Let love be ever wrong.