shall I compare thee to a hand
severed from a corpse
an unidentified left hand
isolated insulated in ice
not yet murky with drifting pinks
lit from below by a cool blue
as blue as your eyes
when you concede
that even though you are right
you will never get your way
so this wild wound
will howl at the afternoon sun
fearful of losing its shadow
in the comfort of my affection
In the chapbook this followed the anti-war rant. A change of pace, pov & a sort of mental palate cleanser for what follows. It’s very sort & to the point, unlike the war rant. Short but perhaps not much easier on the mind. This was inspired by a moment on some CSI type show in which a severed body part was floating in a lab tank. Thin strands of blood were drifting from it in the carefully modulated light of the room.
I, for one, doubt if in reality these labs have such subtle soft focus, indirect lighting. All those dim corners would be too scary and I’d end up squinting all the time trying see what I was supposed to see. I can hear some set designer ‘ooh’ at the divine, delicate effect of light on red corn syrup in ice water – which was probably also given a shot of something to make it the right shade of blue.
But this a love poem, not a critique of crime TV. The opening refers to one of the most famous of all love poems Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 – yes I do have some classical education but chose not to use it much 🙂 The severed hand is certainly the opposite of a summer’s day, though time of year is not germane to the content at all. I push the images from concrete realism to romantic abstractions.
Sonnet 18 is emotionally uncluttered – I love you. ‘hand’ on the other … um … hand, is emotionally & graphically loaded. Clearly, to me, there is some sort of dark struggle here between the object of affection and the observer. Readers of this piece, in the past, have been a little creeped out as their identifying with the voice switches from observer to being observed.
Everyone wants a flowery love a la Sonnet 18. But a love lit from below is only for the brave.
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