Love Denied in Massachusetts by Whitman

( a mash-up poem from Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Justice Denied in Massachusetts” and Allen Ginsberg’s “Love Poem on Theme by Whitman”)

One

Let us abandon then our gardens and go home
And sit in the sitting room.

I’ll go into the bedroom silently and lie down between the bridegroom and
the bride,
those bodies fallen from heaven stretched out waiting naked and restless,

Shall the larkspur blossom or the corn grow under
this cloud?

arms resting over their eyes in the darkness,
bury my face in their shoulders and breasts, breathing their skin,

Sour to the fruitful seed.
and stroke and kiss neck and mouth and make back be open and known,
is the cold earth under this cloud,

legs raised up crook’d to receive, cock in the darkness driven tormented and
attacking,
fostering quack and weed, we marched upon
but cannot conquer;

roused up from hole to itching head,
bodies locked shuddering naked, hot hips and buttocks screwed into each
other,

We have bent the blades of our hoes against the
stalks of them.

 

Two

Lets us go home and sit in the sitting room.
Not in our day
shall the cloud go over and the sun rise as before,
beneficent upon us
out of the glittering bay,
And the warm winds be blown inward from the sea

and eyes, eyes glinting and charming, widening into looks and abandon,
and moans of movement, voices, hands in air, hands between thighs,

Moving the blades of corn
With a peaceful sound.

hands in moisture on softened hips, throbbing contractions of bellies
Forlorn, forlorn,
Stands the blue hay-rack by the empty mow.

till the white come flow in the swirling sheets,
And the petals drop to the ground,
Leaving the tree unfruited.

And the bride cry for forgiveness,
The sun that warmed our stooping backs and with-
ered the weed uprooted–

and the groom be covered with tears of
passion and compassion,

We shall not feel it again.
We shall die in darkness, and be buried in the rain.

Three

What from the splendid dead
We have inherited—
Furrows sweet to the grain, and the weed subdued—
See now the slug and the mildew plunder.

and I rise up from the bed replenished with last intimate gestures and kisses
of farewell—

Evil does overwhelm
The larkspur and the corn;
We have seen them go under.

Let us sit here, sit still,
Here in the sitting-room until we die;
all before the mind wakes, behind shades and closed doors in a darkened
house

At the step of Death on the walk, rise and go;
Leaving to our children’s children this beautiful
doorway,

where the inhabitants roam unsatisfied in the night,
nude ghosts seeking each other out in the silence.

And this elm,
And a blighted earth to till,
with a broken hoe.

 

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