Oh, think not I am faithful to a vow!
Faithless am I am save to love's self alone.
Were you not lovely I would leave you now;
After the feet of beauty fly my own.
Were you not still my hunger's rarest food,
And water ever to my wildest thirst,
I would desert you--think not but I would!--
And seek another as I sought you first.
But you are mobile as the veering air,
And all your charms more changeful than the tide,
Wherefore to be inconstant is no care:
I have but to continue at your side.
So wanton, light and false, my love, are you,
I am most faithless when I most am true.
(In Great Companions, Max Eastman relates an interesting story about Millay that, if true, reveals her something of her attitude about own sexuality. According to Eastman, while at a cocktail party Millay discussed her recurrent headaches with a psychologist. He asked her, "I wonder if it has ever occurred to you that you might perhaps, although you are hardly conscious of it, have an occasional impulse toward a person of your own sex?" She responded, "Oh, you mean I'm homosexual! Of course I am, and heterosexual, too, but what's that got to do with my headache?" )
IN HER I AM
fine dark pulsing without time where I'm meant to be
Clear well fed no words calculating next move
No misunderstanding this muscle which breathes with my hand
enfolded hot as air vibrating in summer
Slurping my tongue is a cat feather river vortex
an angel night jasmine wind licking us clean
We're hurtling through stars becoming
as we so rarely are
Heavy with longing to stir ourselves from ember to embrace
Moaning with you so deeply in you I'm no more than air
to meet your need
Sobbing rocks fly through my heart in a river that breaks
down into my eyes where closed & black I am suddenly
red & searing hot rubies