Samuel MenasheSongs of the Soul in Intimate Amorous Communion with God O love, you living flame who wound with tender fire my very soul, down to its depths descending! No longer hushed by shame, come now, to your desire; sunder the veil that parts for sweet befriending.O soft subjection! O wound that joys beget! O gentle hand! O touch with pleasures rife that hints at resurrection and ransoms every debt! You have done death to death, and made it life.O fiery lamps ignited- whose bright resplendent gleams light those deep caverns where the mind, in hiding, dwelt blind and all benighted- your dazzling radiance streams warm rays on the beloved there abiding!How tenderly you love me and conjure in my breast- that secret place where you alone are treasured- how”your sweet breath above me- by heaven’s good possessed- with what rare lover’s skill have I been pleasured!
St. John of the Cross, translated by Rhina P. EspaillatEve Names the Kiss He sat upon the garden wall. She had her fingers on his knees. The smallest leaves began to fall. A subtle difference in the breezePrompted the tiger and the hare to linger there. Even the snake slithered closer so to hear what sound she’d make. They’d heard him speaka thousand times, define the world from bumblebee to elephant. His syllables were muscled, bold. But she, they felt, was different.The future trembled on her lips. Her mouth was like an apple split, two halves as supple as her hips. And when she said the word, he bit.