Sappho’s Second Best

So very like a god, he seems to me,
The one who sits across from you, imbibing
Your conversation’s sweetness past describing,
………….Face to face, knee to knee,

Hearing your voice, responding to your laughter,
Which leaves me breathless till I gasp and pant—
For catching just a glimpse of you, I can’t
………….Choke out one word after!

My tongue is broken, subtle flames contend
Beneath my skin, and instantly my sight is
Taken from me, and in my ears tinnitus
………….Rings on and on, no end.

I break out sweating, and the shivers run
Throughout my body, greener than grass with fear;
And it seems to me that death is very near,
………….That I am near undone.

Charles Martin

Charles Martin

Charles Martin’s most recent books of poems are Signs & Wonders, and Future Perfect, both published by The Johns Hopkins University Press. He is a recipient of the Harold Morton Landon Award from the Academy of American Poets and an Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Charles Martin

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Author: Charles Martin

Charles Martin’s most recent books of poems are Signs & Wonders, and Future Perfect, both published by The Johns Hopkins University Press. He is a recipient of the Harold Morton Landon Award from the Academy of American Poets and an Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.