(Dante, Vita Nuova)
by Frank Bidart
To all those driven berserk or humanized by love
this is offered, for I need help
deciphering my dream.
When we love our lord is LOVE.
When I recall that at the fourth hour
of the night, watched by shining stars,
LOVE at last became incarnate,
the memory is horror.
In his hands smiling LOVE held my burning
heart, and in his arms, the body whose greeting
pierces my soul, now wrapped in bloodred, sleeping.
He made him wake. He ordered him to eat
my heart. He ate my burning heart. He ate it
submissively, as if afraid as LOVE wept.