Today's poem is by Willis Barnstone

Secret Face of Love

The secret face of love changes her name.
Was it Lily, God or Francesca? Plato gave her
a good face, spoke a synposium about her.
Chaucer's nun with eyes as gray as glass
wore a coral rosary about her comely arm
and a necklace of green beads dangling
a brooch of gold, saying, Amor vincit omnia.

Some whisper whore at her or say she's dead.
She is an insomniac. I am her inconstant
scribe since my passion changes. I hurt her
and her face suffers. So does mine.
Her face is always with me. She is my father.
I call her woman, first love, old love, new love.
I touch her unknown face. She's in the papers

but no nuclear threat. Do not bomb her. We
are lovers. Day moves to dust, dusk to night.
It is dark. She is the one I've always loved,
here with me now. Sleeping. We are wed,
illegitimate, warm flesh. A lily is a day of
eternity. In oblivion she is tender in my arms
and in my sleep, I gaze at her gazing face.

Copyright © 2004 Willis Barnstone All rights reserved
from Life Watch
BOA Editions Limited
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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