The Love Song of the Wilderness

Is there something immoral

in the way the animals act and are

which, for them, is not a decision but instinct

Tell me, is there anything wrong?

To be at the base of nature, to be

going at what is the basest of natural

is not to be the base of our nature

 

The teardrop that falls slowly

down the side of my water glass

leaves a crystal trail through the moisture,

a clear trail through the cold mist

But if my fingers can trace their own way

why should I follow in the path of sorrow?

I will find the way down on my own.

 

If there was a choice to be made,

I would be destruction over being the destroyed.

 

But through the dimness of the candlelight

wages an archaic war on white tablecloths,

fought with arrows of flickering romance

and the clink of sweet wines with gilded words,

that, too soon, rip and tear and take root

The virus grows, not heeding the prayers

against a cross of red paint on a decaying door

 

I could line my pockets with rosemary

and deny the dinner courses as they come,

preferring to self-medicate with champagne

in a last attempt to save the empire.

Your savory violin melody wheedles only to say

“This is the strongest horse, the prize possession –

oh won’t you let down your walls?”

 

If there was a choice to be made,

I would be destruction over being the destroyed.

 

Why is expensive ammunition always used

to obtain such a cheap end?

If I allowed this victory and awoke

on cool white sheets after the battlefield,

would your willpower persist and persevere?

Or would I find the wine bottles empty

and coffee spoons left to be cleaned and put away?

 

Pretense leads to pretense and to no more.

Your violin plays harmonies on frayed strings

while the candle wax drips and spills,

tarnishing the silver platters brought out like magic

over and over again by waiters who have no better diversion.

Do not promise me glittering nights and diamonds,

but take me to the stars now before dawn arrives.

 

Your best intentions are meant,

but I choose to have destruction over being destroyed.

 

In short, I am not afraid. You talk of society,

of what is proper, what is good,

but refuse to admit your darkest desires are true.

You show me culture and sophistication

but deny that hot blood still does and will always

course strongly through your veins,

its purpose unsuppressed despite your worldly restraints.

 

Our heels will click and meet as we tango

on the steamy dance floor that intimates

the true presence of your mind and wishes

But why hide behind the music, the rustle of skirts?

You wish to twirl me, to see me slide and move,

and slowly give in to that which I have already yielded.

You dance to play, as I play with your dance.

 

You are too late, I have chosen

to create destruction over being destroyed.

 

I have seen it all, seen it all

the waiters who wait and watch the baiting,

the eyes that beckon and call, the teeth that twinkle

I have seen it all, known it all

so take my hand and abandon the braised steak,

the marinated fish, the ashes of courtship

I could show you a new way to live

 

To look with more than eyes

listen for something besides nonsense words

to find that patch of woods in yourself and get lost

to follow the wolves and howl with the moon

to hear the love song of the wilderness

and know that the base of your nature

is not base, is only nature, is nothing and everything more

 

I will trace my fingers through the life I’ve made

I will not follow in the artificial forest of sorrow

There is another way down to be found

and, in short, I am not afraid.