Of Ithaca & Ice
By Ann K. Schwader
16 August 2010
I said I would wait, & I meant it:
the morning your ship launched,
chilled blood river
slow through the cave of my veins as a whisper
lost on the ferryman's lips.
You sailed to the stars out there,
to their wars
& Helens in harlot bronze.
I wandered the asphodel stars that wake
in the fields of heroes & gods.
Unweaving my dreams each century,
I praised you in the present tense
to all who sought me,
a second obol
secret beneath my tongue.
You said you would come, & you did:
of a hundred worlds
on your feet & the scent
of nameless Calypsos like victors' laurels
immortal in your hair.
My eyes still kept that morning,
brief & blue & quiet.
Yours echoed with an epic blindness
too large to hold one heart.
Tonight I will swallow half my fare
& answer the asphodel glance of one
whose face is lit
with the flames of cities,
whose arms are warmer than yours.