So he had made a woman
Lovelier than any living woman.
And when he gazed at her
As if coming awake he fell in love.
His own art amazed him, she was so real.
She might have moved, he thought,
Only her modesty
Her sole garment – invisible,
Woven from the fabric of his dream –
Held her as if slightly ashamed
Of stepping into life.
Then his love
For this woman so palpably a woman
Became his life.
He caressed her,
Searching for the warmth of living flesh,
His finger-tip whorls filtering out
Every feel of mere ivory.
He kissed her, closing his eyes
To divine an answering kiss of life
In her perfect lips.
And he would not believe
They were after all only ivory.
He spoke to her, he stroked her
Lightly to feel her living aura
Soft as down over her whiteness.
His fingers gripped her hard
To feel flesh yield under the pressure
That half wanted to bruise her
Into a proof of life, and half did not
Want to hurt or mar or least of all
Find her the solid ivory he had made her.
He flattered her.
He brought her love-gifts, knick-knacks,
Speckled shells, gem pebbles,
Little rainbow birds in pretty cages,
Flowers, pendants, drops of amber.
He dressed her
In the fashion of the moment,
Set costly rings on her cold fingers,
Hung pearls in her ears, coiled ropes of pearl
To drape her ivory breasts.