I have danced with the dragon.
I have felt myself drawn into the flame
And I was in thrall.
Utterly powerless to resist,
Nor had I the will to try.
It was no more physical desire
Than absolute devotion is purely physical desire.
It was a thoroughly spiritual embrace.
Liken to Saul of Tarsus from whose eyes the scales were lifted.
Liken to Joan of Arc, also consumed by the flame.
Alone in a darkened room, yet filled with a wondrous presence,
Not explicable, but exotically tangible.
And rapaciously devoured
As surely as though sexual congress had transpired.
And when you consummate
The passage through that room
You have become forever changed.
The very gristle and marrow of your former self
Subtly altered by that brief and terrible excursion,
Filled with nothing less than a measured comprehension
And yet an understanding of no sole explicit truth.
More a sense of simply,
Ah, at last, I see.
And were lives destroyed to gain this purely selfish end
That counts for naught.
The vision could be purchased at no smaller price.
And guilt erupts like bile at the enormity of that selfish motivation
And cannot be choked back.
But were I asked to pay that price again
There would be no moment’s hesitation
It simply must be done.
Yet one thing more.
I have passed through that room
And have no need to pass that way again.
The dragon is mere memory.
The flame, a distant dream.
The spirit quickens,
And the soul is magnified.