Remember, my soul, the thing we saw
  that lovely summer day?
On a pile of stones where the path turned off,
  a hideous carrion—

legs in the air, like a whore—displayed,
  indifferent to the last.
a belly slick with lethal sweat
  and swollen with foul gas.

The sun lit up that rottenness
  as though to roast it through,
restoring to Nature a hundredfold
  what she had here made one.

And heaven watched the splendid corpse
  like a flower open wide—
you nearly fainted dead away
  at the perfume it gave off.

Flies kept humming over the guts
  from which a gleaming clot
of maggots poured to finish off
  what scraps of flesh remained.

The tide of trembling vermin sank,
  then bubbled up afresh
as if the carcass, drawing breath,
  by their lives lived again

and made a curious music there—
  like running water, or wind,
or the rattle of chaff the winnower
  loosens in his fan.

Shapeless—nothing was left but a dream
  the artist had sketched in,
forgotten, and only later on
  finished from memory.

Behind the rocks an anxious bitch
  eyed us reproachfully,
waiting for the chance to resume
  her interrupted feast.

—Yet you will come to this offence,
  this horrible decay,
you, the light of my life, the sun
  and moon and stars of my love!

Yes, you will come to this, my queen,
  after the sacraments,
when you rot underground among
  the bones already there.

But as their kisses eat you up,
  my Beauty, tell the worms
I’ve kept the sacred essence, saved
  the form of my rotted loves!