‘LOVESONG’ -A POEM BY TED HUGHES !

NPG P1673; Ted Hughes by Rollie McKenna

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“Lovesong”

He loved her and she loved him.
His kisses sucked out her whole
past and future or tried to
He had no other appetite
She bit him she gnawed him she
sucked
She wanted him complete inside
her
Safe and sure forever and ever
Their little cries fluttered into the
curtains
Her eyes wanted nothing to get
away
Her looks nailed down his hands
his wrists his elbows
He gripped her hard so that life
Should not drag her from that
moment
He wanted all future to cease
He wanted to topple with his
arms round her
Off that moment’s brink and into
nothing
Or everlasting or whatever there
was
Her embrace was an immense
press
To print him into her bones
His smiles were the garrets of a
fairy palace
Where the real world would
never come
Her smiles were spider bites
So he would lie still till she felt
hungry
His words were occupying
armies
Her laughs were an assassin’s
attempts
His looks were bullets daggers of
revenge
His glances were ghosts in the
corner with horrible secrets
His whispers were whips and
jackboots
Her kisses were lawyers steadily
writing
His caresses were the last hooks
of a castaway
Her love-tricks were the grinding
of locks
And their deep cries crawled
over the floors
Like an animal dragging a great
trap
His promises were the surgeon’s
gag
Her promises took the top off his
skull
She would get a brooch made of
it
His vows pulled out all her
sinews
He showed her how to make a
love-knot
Her vows put his eyes in formalin
At the back of her secret drawer
Their screams stuck in the wall
Their heads fell apart into sleep
like the two halves
Of a lopped melon, but love is
hard to stop
In their entwined sleep they
exchanged arms and legs
In their dreams their brains took
each other hostage
In the morning they wore each
other’s face.

Ted Hughes.

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