they are light

by Jerry Ratch


They are light, their souls, yours among them. And women who seduce you should understand that, and use their bodies carefully, so that you are unharmed by the night that is filled with them. The beautiful youth who would turn their flower as if you were the sun, admiring you, following you with their full gaze, stripped down to the actual truth, all clothing, all apparel too hot.


All my desire holds up the sky, still. We were walking together in the night, the riverbed nearby, the stars above us. And the others surrounding our flesh, they enter, they go into the earth through a crack to ask a question, to give an account, to open the earth, carving out a song. Wild perhaps, foolish, yes, but the light in their souls stays light.


They may try to diminish the moon, its feeling, its power over man, but he has a right to memory at this late hour. Carried over water, my name under yours like the detached soul held sideways so as not to spill her entirely, like a sack of flour. No need for speech, in defense of the skin. The river-mouth that sooner or later has got to be fertile, far up inside her.