Into the Night


Woman, if I told you that sunlight
blinds me, that the moon's cold light suffuses
through my veins, that I fear silver, and water,
and my own reflection, who would you say I am?
If I told you that should I give in
the night will come with your eyes' surrender,
with your soul's wrists bound tight behind you,
who would you say I am?

I would touch you with the tenderness of tears...
But my dreams are the tiger's dreams,
the trampled undergrowth of desire and fear,
the feral heart, the gnarled awakening into myself...

Even now I feel it in me, the wolf hunger,
the fire, the human thunder caught fast
in my throat, like a finger of salt,
the madness writhing free into
one long, lone, lost, unutterable cry...

I am what traces the crescent of your neck
into the white of your shoulders.
I am the hunger hidden underneath
the pinstripe masquerade, greatcoat and tie,
the hunger that will devour you.
I will brand into your skin the fervor of my mouth.
I will traverse the ravine of your soul.
My shadow will cover your shadow.

And yet...
If I told you that tonight I could write
the lines hold me and hold me and hold me
until the night is shattered, and morning comes
...
who would you say I am?

Behold the man.


16 comments:

  1. I love how the man wears a greatcoat, but is also wolf hungry, traces her neck to shoulders.... all the ingredients that bespeak fire stoking.
    It makes me think of the man, but also of myself, wanting the man.

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  2. I started the poem with 'Woman', knowing that I would end the poem with 'Man'.

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  3. Anonymous6:23:00 PM

    Very nice. First I was guessing who you are.
    But the answer came at the end of this write.
    Beautiful!

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  4. Thank you...

    Short link - http://bit.ly/s4intonight

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  5. I keep reading this over and over and each time it gives me a chill. I keep changing my favorites of your poetry but this one, this will stay a favorite forever Sam.

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  6. Sam, this is utterly beautiful. My favorite of your poems so far.

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  7. Thanks so much! Someone writing about M. Night Shyamalan once said he takes B-movie plots and tries to give them a polish. This poem is similar, taking a 'werewolf' subtext and re-imagining it into something a little different.

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  8. Powerful piece Sam! Startling in so many delightful ways...love the juxtaposition of wildness and tenderness...truly lovely.

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  9. Anonymous2:18:00 PM

    Mmmmm....!

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  10. I love pieces that wind back into themselves like this one does. It's like walking a labyrinth in quiet perfection. Well done, sir. Well done.

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  11. Thank you! This piece enfolds itself in allusions, right up to the final declaration 'Ecce homo'.

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  12. I like the visual of this line Samuel:"..the night will come with your eyes' surrender,
    with your soul's wrists bound tight behind you,
    who would you say I am?"

    Also, the use of crescent calling to mind the crescent moon.

    Very nice. I am continually inspired by your poetry.

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  13. Nice change from woman to man, from underneath the mask to the calming "hold me" words...

    Thanks for sharing this ~

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  14. That third stanza is magnificent, and I love the ending as well. Thanks for this wholly outstanding effort.

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  15. I have to say, with no offense to the other participants of this challenge, that this is my out and out favourite.
    Outstanding conception and execution!

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  16. A fine strong poem all the way through Sam. I esp like "I will traverse the ravine of your soul./My shadow will cover your shadow..."but I could pick many more lines equally as good. You convey that sense of the wild within us, and the hunger and need that everything in the wild is driven by, superbly here.

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