X-Ray Photograph

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Mapped by its panoply of shade
There is the skull I shall not see
—Dark hollow in its galaxy
From which the blazing eye must fade—

And, though I cannot see it plain,
Within those stellar spaces roll
The countless sparks and whorls of soul:
My constellation of the brain.

These bones are calm and beautiful;
The flesh, like water, strains and clears
To show the face my future wears
Drowned at the bottom of its pool.

Then I am full of rage and bliss,
For in our naked bed I feel,
Mate of your panting mouth as well,
The deathshead lean toward your kiss;

And I am mad to have you here,
Now, Now, the instant shield of lust,
Deep in your flesh my flesh to thrust
Against a more tremendous fear.

For in a last analysis
The mind has finer rays that show
The woof of atoms, and below
The mathematical abyss;

The solid bone dissolving just
As this dim pulp about the bone;
And whirling in its void alone
Yearns a fine interstitial dust.

The ray that melts away my skin
Pales at that sub-atomic wave:
This shows my image in the grave,
But that the emptiness within

By which I know our contacts are
Delusive as a point of light
That froths against my shores of sight
Sent out from the remotest star,

So spent, that great sun’s fiery head
Is scarcely visible; a ray
So ancient that it brings today
Word from a world already dead.

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