New favorite poem (Galway Kinnell).

Last Gods

 

She sits naked on a rock

a few yards out in the water.

He stands on the shore,

also naked, picking blueberries.

She calls. He turns. She opens

her legs showing him her great beauty,

and smiles, a bow of lips

seeming to tie together

the ends of the earth.

Splashing her image

to pieces, he wades out

and stands before her, sunk

to the anklebones in leaf-mush

and bottom-slime—the intimacy

of the geographical. He puts

a berry in its shirt

of mist into her mouth.

She swallows it. He puts in another.

She swallows it. Over the lake

two swallows whim, juke jink,

and when one snatches

an insect they both whirl up

and exult. He is swollen

not with ichor but with blood.

She takes him and talks him

more swollen. He kneels, opens

the dark, vertical smile

linking heaven with the underearth

and murmurs her smoothest flesh more smooth.

On top of the rock they join.

Somewhere a frog moans, a crow screams.

The hair of their bodies

startles up. They cry

in the tongue of the last gods,

who refused to go,

chose death, and shuddered

in joy and shattered in pieces,

bequeathing their cries

into the human breast. Now in the lake

two faces, floating, see up

a great maternal pine whose branches

open out in all directions

explaining everything.

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