The Drug

sappho-and-phaon

“Darling, what is happening to you?”
“My drink, my drink, it’s always the drink…”
“Dear, this simply cannot go on!”
“I had two glasses of watered down wine!
I would not lie to you, my love!”
“It does not matter now, my dear.
I can see the light dwindle from your eyes.”
“I can feel myself fading. I grow so weary.
Why do I do this to myself?
Perhaps in my dreams we might ride our horses
to the market or to the shorelines. You know
how I love to ride!
Why, the last time you did
something so romantic, Phaon,
was near the first time we met.
You threw down linens you brought from Athens,
and perfumes smuggled from Thebes.
We picniced with shanks from the sheep
in the mountains, who live among
the oak trees, bowed by windstorms.
Then, I felt struck in the heart
by an arrow from Eros,
and the course of my life felt
as straight as his aim.
I felt you, only you, near my side,
always forgetting all else
that surrounded me,
and in that moment I said,
‘Farewell!'”
“Shh, my lovely, lay back and slumber.
I will preside over these worldly affairs.”
“I feel struck much the same,
though distinctly quite different,
since for now I grow only ready to doze.
I cannot sense the feeling of
incandescent love,
like a drug in my veins
speeding for my heart.
I feel now only helplessness
and I fear that is all that I will feel
from now on, till the end of time.”
“Shh, my lovely, lay back and slumber.
This will all be over
soon.”

(From December 2015)

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