In Blue Gown and in Black Satin Gown

by Carl Sandburg


she wore a blue gown for him once
the fabric flowing with her curves
only the hair of long black eyelashes
flashing naked for his eyes:
a mist of wanting gathered
a black-ice loneliness between them:
   she loosened the blue gown
   and lay bare before him
      a smooth miracle of dawn
      a silent shingle of lights--
         so they hid themselves
         in a winding sheet of passion
         in a little hut of shaken walls

she wore a black satin gown for him once
the flow of her hips a poem of night
moving in a dusk of her long eyelashes
   standing they held a greeting kiss
   murmured of the ritual to come
      she lay waiting for him
      lifting the black satin
      gleaming over a white navel
         she drew him in with familiar sheaths
         they lay in a room of blood-rose shadows
   hearing many clocks in a music of bronze
   in flesh tones of a cool vesper twilight
      slowly they moved into storm and drums
      into a whirl of changing light-spokes
         her white torso lost in satin shadows
         sank in a moan of white blossoms
         in a falling sheen of black moonlight

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