Not Even They Could Stop It, and They Were Myth
There aren't enough stories to tell
of the moment he turned back.
Some say it made no difference,
the darkness had sunk so deep
in her veins she wouldn't have gone
one step more, already the light
seeped through her skin like a bruise.
Some say she'd long been deafened
by smoke and flame, so his song
meant nothing but fingers on the lyre,
and her skin hurt, even that quick touch
was beyond her desire. Others say
she had no desire, she'd eaten
darkness like a lover, it spilled
from her mouth, seeding.
Or she called out to him, knowing
he would turn, it would be over,
because she was tired of being
the one to follow, she had no lyre
or flute, true, but why
should her plain song go unheeded?
But no, he knew what would happen.
He could make trees walk
from their roots, stones spin
in the earth, but he could not stop
the dark god's brooding reach
to ravage her unseen.
So the world filled with lament.
Sometimes as bearable music.
Even the animals learned it,
or waited deep in their fur
for its echo: that No-o-o-o-o
so endless it makes its own sphere,
travels through space like a star in reverse,
the streak of light like the last glimpse
he had of her hand, or she of his,
drawn back as if in emphasis
of the nothing that would last.
Poems by Lynne Knight:
TEN: An Anthology of Northern California Poets