WILD ANIMAL

Where does the wild animal

      of my love

   live in you

   when we are not together?

Does it hibernate

   curled up within your warmth

   impervious to your cold?

Does it prowl

   the deserted mesa of your night

   howling at the moon

      it cannot touch

   it can not touch....

 

I would like to think

   there are moments

   my love glides in you

      with great tan wings

      spread against

         the feverish sun,

but there are jackrabbits

   in you, I am sure,

   wary in the face of such a love.

 

Does it gallivant

   into your marshy subconscious

   like an ungainly moose?

Does it make you smile

   to see how awkward

   something so strong can be?

 

Does it abide in you

   even in drought?

   - even in winter?

Does it migrate

   to where it might thrive?

 

Does love transform itself

   as if it were a chrysallis?

Does it swim up-current

   in the faith of

   enduring regeneration?

 

I wonder sometimes

   when I cross my own wildernesses

   and find the wind-scoured bones

   of derelict loves

      - brilliant white,

      a whisper in the dry grasses,

if these have somehow made themselves, in death,

   more a part of me

   than in life.

But how might we say

   which is which

   when each absorns the other?

In such a way

   does love itself become eternal?

 

R.S. Russell