Lightning

I felt the lurch and halt of her heart
Next my breast, where my own heart was beating;
And I laughed to feel it plunge and bound,
And strange in my blood-swept ears was the sound
Of the words I kept repeating,
Repeating with tightened arms, and the hot blood's blind-fold art.

Her breath flew warm against my neck,
Warm as a flame in the close night air;
And the sense of her clinging flesh was sweet
Where her arms and my neck's thick pulse could meet.
Holding her thus, could I care
That the black night hid her from me, blotted out every speck?

I leaned in the darkness to find her lips
And claim her utterly in a kiss,
When the lightning flew across her face
And I saw her for the flaring space
Of a second, like snow that slips
From a roof, inert with death, weeping " Not this! Not this! "

A moment there, like snow in the dark
Her face lay pale against my breast,
Pale love lost in a thaw of fear
And melted in an icy tear,
And open lips, distressed;
A moment; then darkness shut the lid of the sacred ark

And I heard the thunder, and felt the rain,
And my arms fell loose, and I was dumb
Almost I hated her, sacrificed;
Hated myself, and the place, and the iced
Rain that burnt on my rage; saying: Come
Home, come home, the lightning has made it too plain!
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