Beyond the breaking of the stone
Our love, my love,
is young and old;
strong-limbed and lithely bold
but lined and underlined
by many lives of long ago
whose names, though some were cut in stone,
survived alone within the mind.
In youth, my love, our bodies touch
naked we wrestle tenderly
and shudder at the pleasure that we find;
we give and take
until, my love, with love we break,
though still in loose delight entwined.
But in its age, our love, my love
was old when you and I alone,
surveyed with other eyes the Nile
and seeing Khufu build his pyramid
- the endless laying on of stone on stone -
looked at each other openly,
a wise awareness in the smile we gave
that, in a thousand lives of love,
our love, my love, would long outlive
the grandeur of the Pharaoh’s grave.
From then till now, in youth and age,
throughout the thousand lives we’ve known,
a thousand lovers, hand in hand,
declare our love, their love, survives;
at every time, in every land,
beyond the flesh, beyond the bone,
beyond the breaking of the stone.