Love Sonnet VIII
after Pablo Neruda
Nirvana rose through the roots of my legs
and I raised my arms like Heaven’s branches
to offer all gods the fruit of my contempt,
for how could I bear eternity without you, love?
Forsaken, I dove back into that mortal sea
on which I’d left you burning, my Gloria of fire;
for Heaven fizzled like that first cry of sulfur
and Nirvana was but a laughing mouthful of ash.
And I’d follow no religion save the tongued valley
between the mice-bitten hills of your breasts,
and I’d map all the rivers of my life by your veins
until I discovered your shawled heart’s robin,
and I’d rip you from the fetch of the dark,
and we’d fly—two flames—into a single world.
by Ryan Dowling