Two Poems

by Thomas Banks (April 2021)

Les Amants, Rene Magritte, 1928


After Les Amants by Rene Magritte

“Body shall give what body can,
Shall give you all-save what you sought.”
—E.R. Dodds

Less absolute than we had hoped
The consummation proved to be,
When hand toward hand had blindly groped
And mouth found mouth eye could not see.

For still my soul was mine; your soul
Was yours, and incomplete the bliss
That we had wished would make us whole:
Our kiss was no more than a kiss.

Why then did we anticipate
That two could join and, joining, find
The hidden joy that hearts await
In darkness, where the heart is blind?

Lot's Wife, Anselm Kiefer, 1989

Lot’s Wife

So must we wander to retrieve
In some dim region far abroad
The loss of all which now we leave
To fire and the hate of God?

For my desire inhabits still
This burning city; thus resigned,
My life, my longing, and my will
Become the look I cast behind.

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Thomas Banks has taught literature and Latin for many years in Idaho, Montana, and North Carolina, where he currently lives. Other writings of his have appeared in First Things and the St. Austin Review.

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