Gargoyle 10
cover image by Borislav O. Milutinovich
publication date 9/20/1978

The Woman's Dream

The Woman's Dream

A man and woman
alone in a vast sea,
companions of the water
swimming in grave delight.

They have forgotten the tree-fringed shore,
cannot imagine underfoot
pebbles or broken shell.
No looming rock, or fin or sail,
or musky isle
disturb their calm.
The sea upholds them, shapes them;
their fragile plash scarce breaks its skin.

Their first sun rises,
spills at the sea’s edge,
patterns the spread silk.
The man is all gold.
He gasps, he shimmers,
tosses up metallic drops,
his arms flash like swords.
He is robed and crowned in gold.
"To the sun," he calls, "Come."

The sun does not finger her;
The sea would whisper her in all oceans,
would speak through each orifice.
Currents probe at her thigh,
her blood is slower than tides,
a tongue of water has entered her throat.
She flails, falls back in shadow,
Is succored by sea-beasts- –
dolphin, whale.
Summoned from unfathomable dark
they rise beneath her,
her belly flexed to the dolphin’s curve.

She is borne, streaming,
into the miraculous, hurting air.

She does not turn to watch
where he, unmoving now,
is drowned, subsumed , in light.