Love in the Catacombs

Alone with her among mummies
Pegged to walls in period clothes,
Gruesome as their living counterparts
Must have seemed to lovers then,
Soon enough each other we touch,
Among skull and bone mosaics
And friars spying round corners
With devils riding their backs,
We nick a moment of passion
From damned eternity in this crypt.
At the start of voices we must stop.
At the possibility of prosecution
We heed a prudency of practical sense.
The monks can have memento mori,
Their truth has vulgar demands.
We climb out of the underworld
And wash our feet in an ancient river,
Forgetting darkness and silence
For the light and traffic of life,
For our bed and room
With its wide windows on the sea.
When we wake we discover
Love shining into darkness like the sun.

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