June 19, 2009

No Psyche

Cupid's fallen into my bed
and I am nothing like Psyche.

His face is exhausted.
There are lines upon it now,

and I am nothing like Psyche,
but I find myself
mesmerized by

the white threads
inside the arrows shooting out
from the corners of his eyes,
where the sun could not reach
as he squinted into it,

nearly going blind.

I am nothing like Psyche,
but I lie still,
marveling at the marks,

a million little acid burns,
near-faded freckles,
left by other women's tears.
And he is

wind-burned now,
sun-burned,
self-immolated a thousand times.

A thousand times,
he's risen from the ashes
of beds like these.

I am no Psyche,
I have my own acid burns,
and I am not afraid

of the quiver, nearly empty,
tightly clasped in his
old man's hands.
I'm past fearing their pricks,

my skin is a carapace
of calcified lessons,
and there is little he can teach me -

except that I still sometimes wish
I were Psyche, when
Cupid's fallen into my bed.

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