Robert Bly

The Eel in the Cave

Our veins are open to shadow, and our fingertips  
Porous to murder. It's only the inattention 
Of the prosecutors that lets us go to lunch.

Reading my old letters I notice a secret will. 
It's as if another person had planned my life.  
Even in the dark, someone is hitching the horses.

That doesn't mean I have done things well. 
I have found so many ways to disgrace  
Myself, and throw a dark cloth over my head.

Why is it our fault if we fall into desire? 
The eel poking his head from his undersea cave  
Entices the tiny soul falling out of Heaven.

So many invisible angels work to keep 
Us from drowning; so many hands reach  
Down to pull the swimmer from the water.

Even though the District Attorney keeps me  
Well in mind, grace allows me sometimes  
To slip into the Alhambra by night.