The Innocence of Solomon by Nick Joaquin

Sheba, Sheba, open your eyes!

The apes defile the ivory temple,

the peacocks chant dark blasphemies:

but I take your body for mine to trample,

I laugh where once I bent the knees.

Yea, I take your mouth for mine to crumple,

drunk with the wisdom of your flesh.

But wisdom never was content

and flesh when ripened falls at las:

what will I have when the seasons mint

your golden breasts into golden dust?

Let me arise and follow the river

back to its source: I would bathe my bones

among the chaste rivuletsthat quiver

out of the clean primeval stones.

Yea, bathe me again in the early vision

my soul tongued forth before your mouth

made of a kiss a fierce contrition

salting the waters of my youth…

Sheba, Sheba, close my eyes!

The apes have ravished the inner temple,

the peacocks rend the sacred veil

and on the manna feast their fill-

but chaliced drowsily in your ample

arms, with each brief bliss that dies

my own deep sepulcher I seal.

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