KR OnlinePoetry

Dream of Lust

From The Kenyon Review, New Series, Winter 2001, Vol. XXIII, No. 1

After one of those nights, a day:
the mind dutiful, waking, putting on its slippers,
and the spirit restive, muttering
I’d rather, I’d rather—

Where did it come from,
so sudden, so fierce,
an unexpected animal? Who
was the mysterious figure? You are ridiculously young, I told him.

The day tranquil, beautiful, expecting attention.
The night distracting and barred—
and I cannot return
not even for information.

Roses in bloom, penstemon, the squirrels
preoccupied for the moment.
And suddenly I don’t live here, I live in a mystery.

He had an odd lumbering gaucheness
that became erotic grace.

It is what I thought and not what I thought:
the world is not my world, the human body
makes an impasse, an obstacle.

Clumsy, in jeans, then suddenly
doing the most amazing things
as though they were entirely his idea—

But the afterward at the end of the timeless:
coffee, dark bread, the sustaining rituals
going on now so far away—

the human body a compulsion, a magnet,
the dream itself obstinately
clinging, the spirit
helpless to let it go—

it is still not worth losing the world.

Louise Glück is a Pulitzer-Prize winning author of multiple books of poetry, most recently, A Village Life: Poems (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2009); Averno (2006), a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award in Poetry; and The Seven Ages (2001).