If I were (but not) too clever I'd tell
in verse or show, the animated rootings,
the enigmatic roaring, the braying and the bleating
of the man to woman reaching out beyond the shell.
How each shadowed anima or animus often seems the end of us!
How clever (and so young!) is she, to know
his every need! - The inner not the outer man
sees all this quite clearly. - But should she ban
her thoughts from him he'll wonder in his woe,
'How could that mother-whore betray the trust of love?'
For love indeed it must be. Why else the time
of coaxing through his doubt? Braiding smile
and scorn to that look of 'earthen-mother' the child
of him that was and is, drinks the wine
of vague promise. She is, to him, an Idea greater than herself.
The Idea of her hastens to him always ready; a nun
of temperate bearing, a breast of mother-nurture, a cat
goddess wild, writhing, wailing to his tom, the pat
of come and go now spent in afterwards they're one.
Here in the after-glow his ageless image anima is beloved.
But what of her? Were it known to him her thought
of love's employ might sooner be a simpler thing
to write. But secret is the exchange, the grasping ring
he holds of her is a still life photograph brought
to mind in a world of quick-cut motion pictures.
In the image then he fixes most his needs. He sees
her part as is, and part as of a screen. A silhouette
preamble to the longing half of him; she's a key as yet
to a door long locked turning open but a tease.
And always, when open its the longing he remembers best.
Now in him, she finds average truth; a compendium
that is, of father and lovers and self sometimes,
loosed like faceless men of strong opinion a sign
that animus the serious can speak the idiom.
To her then, the him is a tough and clear-eyed mediator.
If I were (but not) too clever, the archetype
would show, the push and pull of shadow realm
that place elusive underground, unknowingly can overwhelm
that hatrack we call love. It is labor unhanging the hype
of Virgin mother, or the too tough lover, just to be a friend.