self-exhumation

strait of messina by night
strait of messina by night

lost in the translation of a rage
only an ocean could understand,
one June morning i passed too close
to your shore and found myself
drowning in a whirlpool
of ambiguous damp sheets.

all my life i’ve been homesick
for a place i’ve never been;
that morning i carried my pride
up into the rocks, dashed it
down over scylla’s cliffs
and walked away

knowing that a piece of me
would always remain here,
buried shallow and bloodless
in a lemon-scented land once held
sacred by many hearts.

i left it willingly,
trading a shattered mirror
for the possibility of coming home.

6 thoughts on “self-exhumation

  1. Ooooh I love the conversation which can occur between poems, shifting the voices, vantages, positions, outcomes … that’s what myths do, we own their collective imagery in such unique ways. To write a poem is to trope on a million others … Anyway, this poem (right-justified, as if to Scylla’s cliff) in my reading has the lover’s encounter with the Beloved (a potential beloved, at least) as a bewitching snarl, the sea witch of a destructive soul reflected in one’s own desire. How can we not emerge from such encounters both charmed and damned? And that homsickness, how can it not dash us on every next hopeful rock? Wonderful, wonderful …

  2. Some desires are to be unfulfilled in order for us to share our feelings with the world. Thanks for sharing them “only” with us.

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