Saturday, April 29, 2017

Bone-Flower Elegy by Robert Hayden

Bone-Flower Elegy

In the dream I enter the house
       wander vast rooms that are
          catacombs midnight subway
              cavernous ruined movie-palace
          where presences in vulture masks
              play scenes of erotic violence
                  on a scaffold stage    I want
          to stay and watch but know somehow
I must not linger and come to the funeral
          chamber    in its icy nonlight see
               a naked corpse
                   turning with sensual movements
                        on its coffin-bed
          I have wept for you many times
      I whisper but shrink from the arms,
             that would embrace me
                 and treading water reach
       arched portals opening on a desert
groves of enormous nameless flowers;
             twist up from firegold sand
       skull flowers flowers of sawtooth bone
             their leaves and petals interlock
                       caging me for you beastangel
                            raging toward me
             angelbeast shining come
                                 to rend me and redeem


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