My Lips by Gladys May Casely-Hayford

My lips were buds of innocence until you
came one day
And drew a fountain from my heart and
careless went your way,

My lips were hungry, eager flowers curved
in ecstatic bliss
To gather the soft sweetness of my next
lover’s kiss.

My lips were luscious ripeness of a crushed
and poisoned vine
When you bent your lips upon me and my soft
ones clung to thine

My lips are withering fading flowers, full
weary unto death
Dew without moisture is thy kiss; wind
without heat thy breath.

A fugitive tear wells up from my eyes and
is secretly, silently shed.
Are lips that once were innocent, so
withered, so parched, so dead?

Realisation

I did not know that you had the power to
hurt me,
I think I must have bequeathed it to you
unknowingly
One starlit night when I read the secret in
your eyes.
Did you read mine? I know now that you did.
Use your power gently, beloved, for in your
hands it becomes a merciless whip.

I did not know that you had the power to
make me happy,
I think I must have bequeathed it to you
unconsciously
In the warm darkness when your lips met mine
and pressed their weight of love on them.
Did your soul leap to meet mine? I know now
that it did.
Use your power gently, beloved, lest in your
hands it grows too great for me.

-Gladys May Casely-Hayford

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