The body delights in its own travail,
    both teased and tortured by a pulsing strain
    with claws of pleasure resembling pain.
She prophesies but cannot pierce the veil;
she approaches but cannot breach the pale.
    The end she sees and struggles to obtain
    with breathless whisperings both profane
and full of God, both powerful and frail;

these gentle curses make and mar the script.
    Blushing with half delight and half despair
her whimpers catch on pressed and purpled lips
    while she draws fitful clenched half-breaths of air
and, silent, begs the coming moment to eclipse
    with frenzy the unbroken rhythm of that prayer.


Other love poems here on Moss Kingdom: Love is Not All by Edna St. Vincent MillayPaper HeartsLes Bijoux by Charles Baudelaire (translated by Jacques LeClercq)A Seduction: in Four SeasonsLa Petite Mort: a breath of agonySonnet 28 from “14 Lines”Elegy 20 To His Mistress Going to Bed by John DonneNon Sum Qualis Eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae by Ernest DowsonRoll On Columbia: a sonnet for our tenth anniversary.