I am used to walking through darkness alone.
Figments of my imagination and shadows of fantasies
lurk painfully in corners of my mind.
They call out- I turn to them- I pity them. I offer them food.
But the beggar ladies in my dreams
and burn me.
I look at the burn marks on my arms;
the scars are circular and smooth.
I touch one. It smoulders. A half-forgotten mark
of a survival I do not care
But then came a companion
whose compassion was bottomless
and whose care was absolute
and who would not be deterred
by beggar ladies or burns.
And he took my hand
and walked with me
and we found ourselves in Paradise.
I torched it
because I was scared.
He rebuilt it.
I am afraid of ecstasy
and pleasure to me is a trap
that leads to torture.
But that's why he starts slow
and we meander thoughtlessly
through groves of orange trees
Your hands are smooth and they are soft;
they are scented with the scent of tangerines
but though it is good to eat and would afford me much wisdom,
I refrain from this type of knowledge.
The tree we plant will yield fruit
and you will dig me out of the grave.
In my gratitude, what can I offer you
except my soul? But you'll refuse it.
I must give it to you with love
or not at all.
You do not accept debts.
With you, life is a constant Jubilee.
A green shoot blossoms in my heart.
It catches fire, a holy spark
of divine reverence. It is a fire-flower.
Nurture it, for you have the bellows.
A gust of wind
and I will glow.
And in the flickering light
I'll hide my face.
Afraid of yours.
Afraid I'll die.
"Be not afraid of God, love,
for this burning bush is your very soul
and you need not hide from it."
I'll wake up in wonder.
You'll have known all along.
"How did you know?" I'll ask.
"It's simple," you'll say.
"Your soul speaks to me.
I adore you and I worship you
and one day, you will be at peace."
I haven't found it yet.
But I know my companion is expert
at walking through forests tangled with thorns.
And though they rip his skin and he bleeds,
he tears his shirt to bind my feet
so the cloth protects me from harm.
Wordless within me lies my feeling;
I am afraid lest it escape.
Suppressed, I can manage it; if I gave it life
it would overwhelm me. I contain it.
But he senses it; he knows