Tête complète et parfait diademe,
Je suis en toi le secret changement.
Your will is done. Its promise, that I fled,
Drove me from friends and from the high homeland,
Where bear-grass stung like snakebite and my skin
Chilled, as with fever, when the thin air stirred.
I came from foothills, down through mesa draws,
Past stunted-yucca slopes to cottonwood
And willow wash. Quick movements cooled my eyes,
Till each thing grew as clear as if it stood,
And rested with more meaning when it ceased,
As, when a lake wind drops, reflected leaves
Tremble an instant longer than the water
As clear in motion as when they are still.
I stayed, an honored guest. Refusing there
All choice, I tried to break your prophecy.
Feasted to sleep, I lay without my fear.
Straight, with light flesh moving on waist and thigh,
Young women turning naked held my eyes,
Or, if they came in darkness, their bare feet
Fell sweeter than lutenotes. As contours shift
In the lithe haze, each object I once sought
Lost its identity in new sensations
And faded till desire for it had ceased.
My calm increased, but when my anger came
I could not hold it, and the stranger died.