The sorcerer sent her to kiss me
in his dark garden, where the other maids
all failed at seduction. She, though,
knew my name, spoke in warmth
so clawed and low I slipped into trance,
caught in her fierce burn of lust.
She knew, or claimed to know,
my dead mother, whom I spurned
in the blankness of a youth
spent chasing many graceful birds
at which to shoot in simple sport.
How her soft and open lips
scalded, scarring me with acid songs
sung with sweet, corrosive words.
But I too was impure,
so when the gelded man appeared
and threw his spear,
I could only catch it with my breast.
As I lay panting in my own blood,
the woman laughed at my spent state
for she could not weep,
while the magician stole my amethyst,
knotting it safe in a leather sack
long emptied of his own.
Now, although I cannot die, I wear
my failure as an open wound—for nothing is holy
without pity, and I am wholly only love.