Prophecies

By

Joyce Carol Oates

When he climbs out of the space
beneath the house
when he climbs into the house
he will be very hungry
so abandon the geometrical precision
of packages and bled-out limbs of animals
abandon the chain-locks
he will be very hungry

the profile-enhancing bulbs of your electricity
will show how he is comely
or ugly
but he won’t notice
he will be very hungry
so abandon

the cameras
and shy away past your fireproof drapes
the Botticelli reprint
the noise of his personality is a noise of jaws
his eating is a motion of music
but he won’t notice
because
his grown-up family have rushed in
hungry
in the space between two rushed beats
in your blood
they have erupted

take note
and shy away upward
in cautious grace up the stairs
how else to draw them to you
how else
the music of jaws drawn celestial

but be patient and shy
and fearful:
they are very hungry
at the far corner of the eye
there, there he is waiting

delicate as an eyelash
as the structure of an eyelash
waiting, the eye tenses in old selfly caution
waiting to see what it lacks seeing

Love, is it love waiting?
the lover already
loving
but waiting to be loved?