Carl Sandburg

In Blue Gown and in Black Satin Gown

she wore a blue gown for him once
the fabric flowing with her curves
only the hair of long black eyelashes
flashing naked for his eyes:
a mist of wanting gathered
a black-lice loneliness between them:
      she loosened the blue gown
      and lay bare before him
           a smooth miracle of dawn
           a silent shingle of lights —
                 so they hid themselves
                 in a winding sheet of passion
                 in a little hut of shaken walls

she wore a black satin gown for him once
the flow of her hips a poem of night
moving in a dusk of her long eyelashes
      standing they held a greeting kiss
      murmured of the ritual to come
           she lay waiting for him
           lifting the black satin
           gleaming over a white navel
                 she drew him in with familiar sheaths
                 they lay in a room of blood-rose shadows

      hearing many clocks in a music of bronze
      in flesh tones of a cool vesper twilight
           slowly they moved into storm and drums
           into a whirl of changing light-spokes
                 her white torso lost in satin shadows
                 sank in a moan of white blossoms
                 in a falling sheen of black moonlight