A love that’s love should be a food
For heart and body’s widest weal;
As whole and warm as daily bread,
A eucharist, to heal.
But, no, not you–you’re crystal salt
That flavours life but cannot feed;
Exciting taste but not itself
The meat of hunger’s need.
Do as you will, I am content
That you should go and not remain–
As food’s indifferent without salt,
Without you, I’m the same.
But hour by hour your absence grows,
Devours my days, destroys my nights–
And I who’d eat, am eat in turn
As sense with craving fights.
Oh! Do not say necessity
Will drive me to this bitter fault!
Heart, do not vow this foolish thing,
That you would live on salt!