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Body and Soul

I often ask myself why Nature’s craft,
when fashioning the human body, placed
the organs of delight, before and aft,
right up against the vessels for our waste.

What’s more, those instruments play double roles
as drainpipes and as messengers of bliss.
We join in union our yearning souls
by privy parts which also shit and piss.

Perhaps our maker feared that we would climb
too high in our opinion of our worth,
so juxtaposed the base and the sublime
to bring us lower angels down to earth.

Despite this awkward anatomic fact,
which even Platonists cannot deny,
love’s labours lift us, in the carnal act,
a little distance back towards the sky.

In pleasure’s sweet unherculean tasks
we borrow, briefly, powers not our own,
our faces fixed in tragi-comic masks,
and signal their completion with a groan.