Tuesday, September 15, 2009



Wind struck the sea as I looked west. The sun
would dim and flare as distant waves rose and fell.
The black stern of my ship stood like a monument.
Did my father watch the same sun set,
leaning on his cane, feet planted in the dark earth?
Did he look east and wonder, “Are the same stars shining on my son?”
Peleus, will death wait for your child's homecoming?
Two men on deck make light, the tripod's fire
reflected down to me from their faces.
One smiles, gap-toothed, and calls for wine and dice.
Briseis, I remember, hip to hip
we slept while keener minds than mine made plans.

I see my mother on the rolling waves,
her shining feet do not quite touch the waters.
I will call to her soon, but not yet.

An hour ago, Briseis and she held hands and leaned
their heads together, deathless god and mortal woman.
The black ship hid me as I saw them kiss like sisters;
they rolled a chariot wheel between them, making it a toy.

When you play, you are free.

Fear of divine curse kept the men away.


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