sweet danger
special pleasure
find me midstream
halfway to death
in chill green water

these are the things I know
that I want
what I want
that I am strong

and pleasure
with its sweetly dangerous edge

rush wind makes distant
the child,
the adolescent,
the woman,
the goddess

they birthed and bred me
but I am their other

they blur
like soft stones
under the water
smooth relics
of the ages
and the loves
of man and woman

at twenty
I shed the adolescence
of the body
giddy love aches

at thirty I rise
from the adolescence
of the feelings
ashen love
wends through lust

at forty I wrest free
of the adolescence
of the intellect
love's labors
are my bursting

I am the resonant
love of middle age
born to a crowded
tree stand in the forest
from aches, ashes, and decay
into my precise
beam of light

I run
I bend
I hide
I fly

the child, the adolescent,
the woman, the goddess
don't know
whether their song
is lullaby or dirge
they disbelieve that I will live
and yet I am their infant
and they wish me life

and so you grow quotidian
woven of hours and days
past master of your faculties

halfway to death
these lovers
come as close as they need
to being immortal
they own the rest of life
they attain human weight
made of his voice
her mouth
their faith

their sweet