OFFERING - John Donne Poems


Poems » john donne » offering


The vocabulary of desire
is incomplete, a word is missing.

My tongue searches
for your body in language
and finds you in every word.

I thought this was a small thing, a stone
in the palm I could offer you,
my body in darkness a simple gift
casual as a pebble.
As if touching were easier than speaking,
as if this poem did not prove you
inside me already, as if asking
meant I still had the power to invite.

But you make me aware of breathing,
of the awesome fact
that each particle of air
has been taken at least once
into every lung.
Suddenly I have no boundaries
and to kiss you seems to drink up the sky,
slip it from my tongue into your mouth.

Our bodies just our hearts' clothing,
and I came to you so shabbily dressed.
Maybe I thought that for one night
I could wear your beauty through closeness
and for a few hours believe myself
splendidly arrayed.

But you know all the lyrics
to rejection.
My body, your exquisite voice's
shattered glass.