Babette Deutsch


Deep night. I lay on my bed, 
Only less alone than the dead 
Because I had speech with my heart. 
"Everything is refused!" 
It was crying. I, disabused, 
Replied: "We do not part." 

Droning consumedly, 
Hidden planes plunged by, 
Rousing the heart's hunger. 
I offered: "The famished bite 
On the used rinds of delight." 
That filled the heart with anger. 

"Everything is denied!" 
It cried. Then I replied: 
"Heart, I have your lament 
And you have got my voice, 
In which you may rejoice, 
Perhaps, when all is spent." 

My heart acknowledged this 
With: "Sing. Sing of the kiss 
Given on the deathbed." 
"Death's living differently." 
"The kiss!" it answered me, 
Who was less alone than the dead.