Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MELISSA, by ROBERT LOUIS BURGESS

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

MELISSA, by                    
First Line: Melissa / is the sweet core of the apple of a young man's dream
Last Line: Save us from love!

Is the sweet core of the apple of a young man's dream
Of a perfect woman.

Is pretty, not beautiful.
(God save us from Beauty --
Pedestaled on granite,
Molten in red-white furnace hearts,
Smiling in hell.)

Is charming faithless.
(God save us from Faith --
An acid, an eye that stares,
A curse upon transitory joys,
A brazen curse blaring from trumpets.)

Is neither too old nor too young.
(God save us from Youth --
Acrid chemistry, sick yeast,
Rumbling, earthquaking,
A mad elephant!
And God save us from Age --
A supreme white statue carved of a cliff
Gazing out over the pale serenities of an ancient sea.)

Is quick-witted, but has no brain.
(God save us from Brain --
A steaming corruption that befogs the stars,
A massive stealthiness,
A sneaking glacier,
A panther screaming in a mountain cave.)

Giggles, but does not laugh.
(God save us from Laughter --
A cracked obelisk,
A chattering of teeth,
A grinding of bones,
A scared whisper in a lonely night.)

Kisses and plays, but does not love,
Does not love,
Does not love.
Does not love.

God save us from Love!
O dear God in Heaven, save us from Love!
Save us from Love!
Save us from Love!

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