Old rhymes insist sublimity is this:
eternity transposed on the abyss;
the Ocean set against a band of sky;
the timbre of a mother’s lullaby;
a snowflake’s gleam destined to disappear;
a whispered prayer that nobody will hear;
and you, a mortal with immortal grace,
the splendor of your wit matched in your face.
My stalling heart quickens as it is wrenched,
while dazed I dare to stare at you unquenched,
your eyes twin torrents lethal as the sea,
as wondrous turquoise as eternity.
Drowned in your gaze, how could I help but try
to gulp life’s breath once more before I die,
and helpless sing the fatal ocean’s praise
before I perish mute beneath the waves?
Your face recalls the world I’ll never know,
when sinking I plunge fathoms down below:
your blush the russet dusk before it wanes;
your smile the dawning sun after it rains;
your lips twin rubies polished in the deep;
your hair the fur of corns stalks freshly reaped.
Horizons tie the sea and sky to earth,
but destiny unbinds my longing’s worth,
and dooms me to imagine what’s not true,
and scrawl dirges for love I never knew!
But darkest veins obscure red gemstones’ birth,
and blackest night contains Apollo’s girth.
No dawn or gloaming’s russet veil of gold
can make the scarlet shimmer long take hold.
Even the roots of cornstalks cling to hell.
Divine for now, you’ll know time’s rot as well.
The fool of fortune drooping by the hour,
with you unseen, untouched, beyond my power,
surrendering to gravity and guilt,
inert I’ll watch both of our flowers wilt.
Then sighing sink below as Cupid’s clown,
til angels’ voices wake us and we drown.