The Dancing Serpent


❝ Indolent darling, how I love
to see the skin
of your body so beautiful
shimmer like silk!
Upon your heavy head of hair
with its acrid scents,
adventurous, odorant sea
with blue and brown waves,
like a vessel that awakens
to the morning wind,
my dreamy soul sets sail
for a distant sky.
Your eyes where nothing is revealed
of bitter or sweet
are two cold jewels where are mingled
iron and gold
to see you walking in cadence
with fine abandon.
One would say is a snake which dances
at the end of the staff
under the weight of indolence
but your child-like head sways
gently to and fro like the head
of a young elephant
while your body stretches and leans
like a slender ship
that rolls from side to side and dips
its yards in the sea
like a stream swelled by the thaw
of rumbling glaciers
when the water in your mouth rises
to the edge of your teeth.
It seems as I drink Bohemian wine,
bitter and conquering.
A liquid sky that spreads

stars in my heart!… ❞
— Charles Baudelaire —