1,159 Readings | 8 Ratings

One of the Maenads Speaks to the Singing Head of Orpheus as It Floats Downriver

How can I explain what we have done to you?
We heard in your voice the mad longing to be broken

from the body’s reins, to return to your beloved
and put your lips to the bite marks on her ankle.

For too long you held to the blue-dark loss
that laid beside you. Didn’t you know we were always

meant to lose everything? Don’t mourn. After love,
there is more love. I have seen it. One sigh held

by another, held by another. I kept your head in my lap
while the others took your body from you, their teeth

on your collar bones, fingernails plucking chords
from your throat. Death and madness can be the same

kind of deliverance. Flies are laying eggs in the wreckage
of your neck, but you keep singing. The rain lilies you pass

gather your melodies, so I uproot them. Nightingales
open their beaks to swallow your notes, and I stone them.

Love is a song you sing in search of deeper water.
The body, you leave behind. The music travels with you.
Posted 01/14/10
Comments (1)
Exquisite in the way that only pain can be. The last two stanzas stick with me in particular.
05/16/10 9:58pm