The Ecstasy

Phillip Lopate

 
You are not me, and I am never you
except for thirty seconds in a year
when ecstasy of coming,
laughing at the same time
or being cruel to know for certain
what the other's feeling
charge some recognition.
Not often when we talk though.
Undressing to the daily logs
of this petty boss, that compliment,
curling our lips at half-announced ambitions.
I tell you this during another night
of living next to you
without having said what was on our minds,
our bodies merely rubbing their fishy smells together.
The feelings keep piling up.
Will I ever find the time to tell you what is inside these trunks?
Maybe it's the fault of our language
but dreams are innocent and pictorial.
Then let our dreams speak for us
side by side, leg over leg,
an electroencephalographic kiss
flashing blue movies from temple
to temple, as we lie gagged in sleep.
Sleep on while I am talking
I am just arranging the curtains
over your naked breasts.
Love doesn't look too closely...
love looks very closely
the shock of beauty you gave me
the third rail that runs through our hospitality.
When will I follow you
over the fence to your tracks?
 
From At the End of the Day: Selected Poems and an Introductory Essay, copyright © 2009 by Phillip Lopate. Used by permission of Marsh Hawk Press.

Poems by This Author

Allende by Phillip Lopate
In 200 years they won't remember me, Salvador
Indigestible by Phillip Lopate
A friend called up saying he was in a pre-suicidal mood
Numbness by Phillip Lopate
I have not felt a thing for weeks
Snowball Journal by Phillip Lopate
Our room, says the lady of the house
The Last Slow Days of Summer by Phillip Lopate
BE YOUR OWN MASTER! says the Vedanta Society sign
We Who Are Your Closest Friends by Phillip Lopate
we who are


Further Reading

Poems about Ambition
Essay on Man, Epistle II
by Alexander Pope
All those Attempts in the Changing Room!
by Anne Stevenson
Civilization
by Carl Phillips
Failing and Flying
by Jack Gilbert
Famous
by Naomi Shihab Nye
Fisherman
by Kurt Brown
George Gray
by Edgar Lee Masters
See It Through
by Edgar Guest
That Everything's Inevitable
by Katy Lederer
To You
by Walt Whitman
Untranslatable Song
by Claudia Reder
Contemporary Love Poems
A Tyrant Seeks Conclusion in the Known Self
by Emily Kendal Frey
corydon & alexis, redux
by D. A. Powell
Credo
by Matthew Rohrer
Epithalamium
by Matthew Rohrer
Fons
by Pura López-Colomé
Footprint on Your Heart
by Gary Lenhart
Happy first anniversary (in anticipation of your thirty ninth)
by Bob Hicok
Hey You
by Adrian Blevins
Holding Pattern
by Timothy Liu
Hotel Berlin
by Cynthia Cruz
I Want the Certainty of Love in Another Language
by Christie Ann Reynolds
If You Must Hide Yourself From Love
by Christopher Salerno
It Was Raining In Delft
by Peter Gizzi
Long Distance II
by Tony Harrison
Love Poem
by Graham Foust
Marriage: A Daybook
by Nicole Cooley
My Heart
by Kim Addonizio
Rime Riche
by Monica Ferrell
San Antonio
by Naomi Shihab Nye
syntax
by Maureen N. McLane
The Ear is an Organ Made for Love
by E. Ethelbert Miller
The Embrace
by Mark Doty
The Emperor
by Matthew Rohrer
The Kiss
by Stephen Dunn
The Long Deployment
by Jehanne Dubrow
The Love-Hat Relationship
by Aaron Belz
The Meaning of Zero: A Love Poem
by Amy Uyematsu
To Dorothy
by Marvin Bell
When a Woman Loves a Man
by David Lehman
When Someone Says I Love You the Whole
by Karyna McGlynn
Poems About Passion and Sex
9.
by E. E. Cummings
Canterbury Tales, Wife of Bath's Prologue [Excerpt]
by Geoffrey Chaucer
A Greek Island
by Edward Hirsch
A Sequence
by Leslie Scalapino
Almost There
by Timothy Liu
Antique
by Arthur Rimbaud
Arts & Sciences
by Philip Appleman
At the Touch of You
by Witter Bynner
Aubade: Some Peaches, After Storm
by Carl Phillips
Because I cannot remember my first kiss
by Roger Bonair-Agard
Blue
by May Swenson
Boston
by Aaron Smith
Carrefour
by Amy Lowell
corydon & alexis, redux
by D. A. Powell
Elegy 5
by Ovid
Erotic Energy
by Chase Twichell
First Turn to Me...
by Bernadette Mayer
Fish Fucking
by Michael Blumenthal
Fixed
by Christopher Stackhouse
In Praise of Shame
by Lord Alfred Douglas
Kinky
by Denise Duhamel
Libido
by Rupert Brooke
Me in Paradise
by Brenda Shaughnessy
My Bright Aluminum Tumblers
by Michael Ryan
National Nudist Club Newsletter
by Wayne Koestenbaum
No Platonic Love
by William Cartwright
Novel
by Arthur Rimbaud
Poems of Passion and Sex
Prague
by Khadijah Queen
Privilege of Being
by Robert Hass
Safe Sex
by Donald Hall
Sex
by Michael Ryan
Song
by James Joyce
Stones
by Michael Blumenthal
The Elephant is Slow to Mate
by D.H. Lawrence
The Hug
by Thom Gunn
To His Mistress Going to Bed
by John Donne
Undressing You
by Witter Bynner
Wild Rose
by Bryher
XIII
by César Vallejo
Year of the Tiger
by Miguel Murphy
Poems About Love
Monna Innominata [I loved you first]
by Christina Rossetti
Monna Innominata [I wish I could remember]
by Christina Rossetti
A Birthday
by Christina Rossetti
A Line-storm Song
by Robert Frost
A Negro Love Song
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Darling, You Are the World's Fresh Ornament
by Laura Cronk
Fons
by Pura López-Colomé
In a Boat
by D. H. Lawrence
Let Us Live and Love (5)
by Gaius Valerius Catullus
Love
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Love
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Love in a Life
by Robert Browning
Love's Philosophy
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Lovers' Infiniteness
by John Donne
Manners
by Michael Blumenthal
Meeting at Night
by Robert Browning
My love is as a fever, longing still
by Christopher Bursk
No, Love Is Not Dead
by Robert Desnos
San Antonio
by Naomi Shihab Nye
She Walks in Beauty
by George Gordon Byron
Slow Waltz Through Inflatable Landscape
by Christian Hawkey
The Buried Life
by Matthew Arnold
The Definition of Love
by Andrew Marvell
The Face of All the World (Sonnet 7)
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
The Forms of Love
by George Oppen
The Kiss
by Stephen Dunn
The Look
by Sara Teasdale
The Owl and the Pussy-Cat
by Edward Lear
The Passionate Freudian to His Love
by Dorothy Parker
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
by Christopher Marlowe
The White Rose
by John Boyle O'Reilly
To Anthea Who May Command Him Any Thing
by Robert Herrick
When I Heard at the Close of Day
by Walt Whitman
Wooing Song
by Giles Fletcher