Lately I can't help wanting us
to be like other people.
For example, if I were a smoker,
you'd lift a match to the cigarette
just as I put it between my lips.
It's never been like that
between us: none of that
easy chemistry, no quick, half automatic
flares. Everything between us
had to be learned.
Saturday finds me brooding
behind my book, all my fantasies
of seduction run up
against the rocks.
Tell me again
why you don't like
sex in the afternoon?
No, don't tell me--
I'll never understand you
never understand us, America's strangest
loving couple: they never
drink a bottle of wine together
and rarely look at each other.
Into each other's eyes, I mean.
There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive.
This ecstasy, this forgetfulness of living, comes to the artist, caught up and out of himself in a sheet of flame; it comes to the soldier, war-mad in a stricken field and refusing quarter; and it came to Buck, leading the pack, sounding the old wolf-cry, straining after the food that was alive and that fled swiftly before him through the moonlight.