If You Decree This Death Poem Incarnate
Two Faces

Sometimes there is a look upon your face
So shallow, hard, and palpably expressive
Of vacillating versatility
And the veerings of a rudderless life,
I wonder if you've not forever lost
The gift of human sensitivity,
The admirable capacity to shine
In winged acts as well as spoken words.
Is not that tell-tale look upon your face
The reason why all men of depth and feeling
At last are driven to recoil from you
To find a simple human warmth and friendship
In women who are less complex and worldly,
No hard and shallow look unmasking them?

                            II

Sometimes, dear friend, you are so beautiful
That I in truth believe no other woman
Who treads this whirling earth can equal you.
Sometimes there is a look upon your face
So lovely, full of grace and dignity,
So radiant with living consecration
To the greatest cause and aim of all; and yet,
So touched with tragedy, as if you had
Seen and understood the sufferings
Of your own ill-starred time and every other—
Sometimes this look upon your face so moves me
When I see it that I wonder if
This is not the ultimate in beauty
That ardently I've searched for all my life.

  

Copyright © 1972, 1983, 1994 by Corliss Lamont.
Copyright © 2001-2012 by Half-Moon Foundation, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
  
If You Decree This Death Poem Incarnate

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