Zeus, To His Wife


Take the honey there, and pour.
Cool mist creeps from winter, its pale fingers go
Painting tired dusk along the window sill in streaks.
Our curtains ruffle in the chill.
Heat up the milk.
It’s been a while, sweet, since I’ve traveled farther than this mount of ours--
None will see us down there now, my dear.
My brother Hades came here last, of all our kin, in haste, and since we’ve seen him not.
They have crumbled our columns and changed my name, each as from neglect.
I feel a thing I thought I’d never feel:
I long for an end to all these years;
These petrified bones; this ivory flesh.
How many centuries have we gone without
The need for sleep.

I’ve walked far,
And I--
No, fear is not the word, but something else;
Certainty was wrecked, resignation bowed upon my shoulders;
Resentment, or regret, first perched, now fled.
I just stare and ponder youth or age, wondering at memory,
Remembering obsession--eroticism that beheld on shaking knees creation--
In a humble, proud recognition, for
A power’s brooding beneath the clouds.
A fire, if you will.
And I have respect for fire--in the past too much.
But we will bind no more on the rocks, wrapped in chains and wreathed in ravens,
And we will throw no more to the stars.
There are others there, now. The stars--they change.
Eternity was writ, but new words are made,
Erased, rewritten; forgotten for better;
If I am lucky I will still get a star or two.

But never mind, my dear--who I speak to, and why, I do not know.
My prayer’s usurped by night;
For I who am god have none.
Touch my face, my sweet. Yes I know,
It’s cold. And my nose is dull, my eyes deep.
We should lie now, and forever dreaming, sleep.