Friday, July 26, 2013

Love in a mirror

The best slave
does not need to be beaten
she beats herself.
Not with a leather whip,
or with sticks or twigs,
not with a blackjack
or a billy club,
but with the fine whip
of her own tongue
and the subtle beating
of her mind
against her mind.
For who can hate her half as well
as she hates herself?
And who can match the finesse
of her self-abuse?
Years of training
are required for this
twenty years or more
of subtle self-indulgence;
until the subject
thinks herself a queen
and yet a beggar...
both at the same time.
She must doubt herself in
everything but love.
She must choose passionately
and badly.
She must feel lost as a dog
without her master.
She must refer all moral questions
to her mirror.
She must fall in love with a Cossack,
A Hawaiian, or a poet.