(Dante, Vita Nuova) 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.
From Desire, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1997. Copyright © 1997 by Frank Bidart. All rights reserved. Used with permission.