Dear O —
Holding this torch for you is less than ideal.
My arms heavy as storm-soaked planks, and
you as warped burden I can’t seem to quit.
That distant horizon’s too far gone to see
the modest flicker of me, the one, lone
girl-flare amongst the gods. Nothing
to write home about.
All those sirens, pin-ups of myth,
pure distraction — are good at dousing
the home fires with glistening fins
and the damp magic of their hair.
You must think I’m not trying very hard
but love, every night in my room I spin
a basket of my worries, my melancholy
toughens with time, and in the morning,
I unwind its tinsel and twig, stash it
away from those Suitors, their eyes flat
as cold copper coins sewn into hems.
To be sure, my bed is a preoccupation.
The old maid in me prefers my own counsel —
no one who tries to touch my cheek, who
drinks all the wine from the barrels and brushes
past me with their hot breath a hellfire.
No one who presses me against the damp
walls of the cellar and professes accident.
I could raise a white flag, swing it to and fro
out my tower window. Hope for rescue.
Girl trapped by destiny. I’d light the whole
house on fire if I thought it would burn
this cold loneliness from my bones.
And you, the one who forgot to fan
the flames, I must know — which
narrow strait will you cross to get to me?
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