"Sestina"

Listen now to my voice:
Here we sit at the edge of the water.
And your face looks so fair, my love,
paled by the moon and shadowed by the night.
I look at your lap where you clasp your hands
and imagine mine holding yours, close but cold.

The nearby stream is clear and cold
and trickles in time with my voice.
It laps gently against your pale hands,
enveloping your fingers in crystal water.
I have never trusted the night,
but your presence gives me peace, my love.

I thought about you today, and your love
meant so much—Are you cold?
You look so lovely in the night.—
As I was saying, listen now to my voice:
My thoughts flow fast like water.
(My eyes follow your hands.)

Your beautiful, pale, slender hands:
They're a factor of my initial attraction, love.
Would you like to swim in the water?
It feels refreshing and cold.
You answer so properly in your beautiful voice,
complimented by the silence of the night.

Have you ever been afraid of the night?—
Walking in the dark with nervous hands,
comforted by the sound of your voice,
and your constant thoughts of me, your love?
And yet you felt so alone and so cold,
so you stayed close to the water.

The midwife said you were born of water,
like the black and angry sea at night.
She said that, like your mother, you would remain cold:
Frozen heart, icy hands.
But I have felt the warmth of your love
and heard the gentleness in your voice.

Creatures of the night, we commune by the water.
You are cold; let me hold your hands.
Listen now to my voice, my love.