I had never wanted it
Called for it, never even
Sought for it, never, never, never.

But before, long before
I had noticed how
My whole being became
Encased by another
Still I did not want it,
Call for it, or even seek it.

I had never wanted it
Desire I did not, could not,
Seek, searching like many do
For love, lust, the flesh.

But soon, all too soon,
It devoured me
I could not think nor sleep for it
Overwhelmed my waking thoughts
And lay heavy on my dreams.

I had thought that love
If I were to feel it
Would be a light wondrous thing
Full of joy, a happiness I had been
Forbidden to touch.

But love is sick and love is greedy
Love is cruel and hurtful
It turns my blood to acid
Destructive and vengeful.

It is not so much that I want
So that the one I love can be mine,
No, I cannot touch it
I had never wanted it, only that
I want it to be gone.

I wish I could be as I was
And not buried under this
Curse. These thoughts are not mine
My blood broils
I can think of nothing but my loss
Of perfect absolution.

I became shrouded under her spell
I was myself no longer
Under her eyes
I became her
I wanted her, because I could not have her
And I want her, still
If only my beating heart could
I would rise above all things
Yes, her, and leave her there,
There where she belongs.

But my body is fettered
Anchored to this earth
And as long as she walks it
I am under this dreadful curse.


~This poem forms part of the character exploration for the protagonist in my next novel, a clergyman who falls in love with his female lodger with disastrous consequences. The title and character is taken from Jane Eyre – the pious St John Rivers – who gives up the flesh in order to seek his own martyrdom – “his glorious sun hastens to its setting.”~