For I have seen love
and his face is choice Heart of Hearts,
a flesh of pure fire, fusing from the center
where all Motion is one.
And I have known
despair that the Face has ceased to stare
at me with the Rose of the world
but lies furled
in an artificial paradise it is Hell to get into.
If I knew you were there
I would fall upon my knees and plead to God
to deliver you in my arms once again.
But it is senseless to try.
One can only take means to reduce misery,
confuse the sensations so that this Face,
what aches in the heart and makes each new
start less close to the source of desire,
fade from the flesh that fires the night,
with dreams and infinite longing.
John Wieners, "Cocaine" from Selected Poems, 1958-1984, published by Black Sparrow Books. Copyright © 1986 by John Wieners. Reprinted by permission of the John Wieners Literary Trust.
Source: Selected Poems, 1958-1984
(Black Sparrow Books, 1986)