Snake Dance
(Charles Baudelaire)


languid lady, how I love
the way your skin
refracts the sunlight

with my face
in the depths
of your harsh-tasting hair,
I prepare
to embark
for the far
paradise hidden there,
in the seas 
of your hair;

your eyes 
show unconcern,
jeweled ice
revealing no
feeling, no
emotion at all
sharp or sweet;

I see your limbs
keeping time
as you walk
to a
snakecharm rhyme;

droops your head
like the sagging head
of a small, soft,
solemnly nodding
elephant child;

your body’s idle dawdle
is a little like the playing
of a trim vessel rolling
yards awash and slowly
swaying and
rolling again;

your tongue distils
a heady wine
from mountain snows
and melting streams,
strong and tart and bitter,
liquid delight
on my tongue,
drunk from your mouth
turning to stars.