Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 11 • Fall 2004 • Featured Writer • Poetry


David Bergman

If you ask her why the first light
Is so often cold and bitter,
And why the dawn leaks with acid
From behind the corroded hills,
Or why she rubs out the stars
With pale hatred and lashes out
Against the clouds she sets adrift,

You only have to follow her
Home and see what sort of marriage
She contracted. When first they met,
It's true, he seemed to glow no less
Than she. In bed, his body took
Up all the room and scorched the sheet
With his own peculiar fire.

But now he's shriveled to a seed,
Unseeing, unhearing, undone,
His cricket-shrill voice calling her
The names of the sheep he tended.
Look what comes of falling in love
With a mortal who'll last forever!
And she could have married a god.

David Bergman

David Bergman is a professor of English at Towson State University, the author of Gaiety Transfigured: Gay Representation in American Literature, and the editor of Camp Grounds: Style and Homosexuality. Bergman has published poetry in The Paris Review, The New Criterion, and The New Republic. He has edited a collection of Edmund White's essays entitled The Burning Library. His latest book is The Violet Hour: The Violet Quill and the Making of Gay Culture (Columbia University Press, 2004). He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

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