CALL OF THE WILD, by Patricia Ponce
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CALL OF THE WILD, by Patricia Ponce.

Nearly twenty-five when my eyes first caught
a glimpse of the mystic grace
of that fleeting spirit that lives within
your heart's most impenetrable place

It was on the beach when summer air
first brought to me the soft sweet scent
of your hair, so close to my face
for the first time, there
on the beach in your shy brown eyes
that I saw it
I was aware
that I was being seen
by an infinitely beautiful
infinitely delicate thing.

How can I describe
this spirit that I have been seeking
since I first saw it dash across your eyes
in that enchanted time

It is wild and it is refined
like some mythical creature
in the spirit world of the ancients
that is rumored to drink at magical pools
deep in the forest when the silver starlight
barely trickles through the deep canopy of pines

it is reticent and bright
appearing like the moon, suddenly
on a stormy night
through the rushing clouds
to flash its exotic otherworldly light

it is untouchable and fleeting
like a sudden rain on a summer evening
or an unexpected meeting
with tiger eyes in the shady reeds
that disappear before they can be scrutinized
like lightning in a distant place
barely seen out of the corners of my eyes

Shall I tell you how I have sought
that spirit, that mystic grace,
everyday in dreamlike thoughts
and every night in thoughtful dreams
shall I tell you how I have obsessed
on the passion that I imagine it must hold
shall I be so bold
as to tell you that I have sought to possess
its gentleness
to devour and be devoured
to own it and be its subject
shall I tell you all the ways
shall I tell you all the hours
that I have dreamed of bringing it forth
to taste the bliss it promises
and be spellbound in its powers?

Like a dogged hunter I pursue
The soul of your uncaptured love

Sometimes I know that it is near
When we lie naked, heart to heart
and I caress your smooth, alabaster skin
slowly in circles with my fingertips
when my fingers move through your fine hair
and describe the tender slope of your exposed neck
the soft curve of your shoulder
I sense that it is there
I watch for it in your eyes
when I touch my lips to your breasts
very gently, with a slow kiss,
when I brush my face against those secret places
that make you shiver
I can feel that silent spirit
near the surface, regarding me
like a mermaid just deep enough
to remain unseen

Sometimes late at night
when you are holding me
caressing my hair
and you think that I'm asleep
I lie in wait for it, so patiently
half into a dream
searching for it in your touch
trying to catch its image in my minds eye:
a doe in a deep wood, a star, a white owl
in the moonlight, circling high.

Other times it is far away
retreated to a deep and distant place within you
when your eyes are diverted from mine
hurt, or angry, if I have been unkind
or you have been ground down
by the weight of heavy, empty days

then I grow weary and despair,
trudging through the snow
following tracks that have gone cold
grey days enfold me
when your wild love has gone to ground
I am thirsty then, and old
And the sky does not make a sound.

Call me Ishmael, or Galahad,
I have seen the promise of paradise
In those bottomless brown eyes
when the moonlight slants through the blinds
and I catch them looking at mine
I felt the presence of something wild and divine
when I have pressed my lips against yours and tried
to conjure forth that which will not be touched or defined

Should I tell you that I have felt it when
I have kissed you softly in the morning,
In your quiet ways, your hesitance
your pouting moods that hold the promise of fire
in the slight smile that betrays a smoldering desire

Yet I know that I can never possess
that uncaptured love
like some rare, exotic jungle butterfly
it could not live in the grasp
of human hands
of a fleshy mortal man
it could not survive

But will only dwell in those depths of your heart
that like the terrain of some distant planet
can only be imagined
places that I hope to dwell
when I have crossed

perhaps in that twilight at last I will meet
that wild doe
perhaps in that dusk I will at last know
the bliss that I have glimpsed in this brief life

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