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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Reading of Phaedo

1

I have come home,
and the goddess
is on her death bed; I am too late
to save the day -- the night draws
the moonlight out of the great
dark chest of the world --
stars fall
scaled, roaming silver
rains against
a blacked-out window.
I am soon to be a faithful widow.

how can a goddess die --
and how courageous is death
in its attempted desecration
that it even visits the bed
of the sun; does it not burn
as it approaches closer,
or feel shame to
have the world make room
for lesser moons?

as she falls deeper to sleep
I read to her
Plato's dialogues in Phaedo
at the bedside vigil --
arguments that separate
earth and fire,
how bodies die, but souls live
for eternity, of the places
fit for such a goddess.

2

and as her soul sheds its light
like the dazzling stars
at the coming of night,
breaching twilight --
I pray her soft white skin
to be a bank of white clouds
waiting for the sun to appear,
waiting to pass by
when the goddess fills the sky.

there is no other prayer
that will give meaning,
there is no other law
except of the shore
where the living gather;
still I refuse to believe her will --
the goddess in final sleep
and I try to make
her a song, to sing her awake

in places unreachable by bodily sense,
no emptiness -- no spiritual death --
but to wish her to a real place
for a goddess,
where the best and wise rule
and where the most noble
souls exist,
to the truth of Plato,
to the end of woe.

3

I come to the end of the reading
but the story goes on,
as all borrowed property
is given back to the world,
and the goddess goes home
to make it a better place,
vanished without a trace
in the serenity of sleep.
I am a widow that weeps.

her legacy is the killer
my heart -- love itself --
is a soul in dilemma;
shattered with the strain
of going to its ideal home or
trying to belong to a piece of earth
bequeathed by her leaving
in this homecoming end,
left for me to tend;

no other world for survivors to see
but this patch of dirt
where death dared to stop
and open his carriage door
for the final journey --
and drive the goddess on
through the starfall,
straight past me,
and on to true immortality.

From the collection: "Home Alone" (Letters to B) >>

Read more from The Boy and His Goddess >>

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