Today's poem is by Meggen Lyon

Leda and the Swan: A Recurring Nightmare

1. The Possession

This is me holding you down.
             This is me splaying you, limb
                                                  from limb.
This is me following your shadow like fog
on a leash,
              breathing my green hot stench.
I know where you sleep, girlie. I take you,
             in dreams,
                         like a riptide,
                                                drag you to the watery

True, you might escape me
            in the park woods, on a sunny day—
                                                   if you look long enough
            at the celestial spiderweb of light
                         scattered over leaves.

If you could walk a half-mile down the street.
                        If you could even get out of your house.
But you are busy trying
                                                to rid my shadow
from your pots and pans,
              your violin, piles of notebooks, the lump
                                                              in the throat
                       of each tiny failure.

Forget courtship, sweet thing.
This is me freezing your assets.
I huddle in the basement of your days,
I'll strangle your resolve
until you lose your very form.
           I've got that kind of time.

                     And look, how you are already changed,
murmuring in the sweet sleep of me, the feathered
             underworld of me,

2. Waking: Three Facts and an Opinion

The gods are ourselves, magnified,
stratified and flung
out as stars
where we forget their names.

Actual swans mate for life.
I knew a swan down the river
whose partner
was shot by a man with a rifle.

He paid a $500 fine.
The swan left behind
drifted back to the same shallow reeds,
the next season
and the next.

3. Leda

I will look you in the face.
          (I will remember the body's impermanence.)

I will tell myself my story.
          (I will know that you tire of me.)

I will remember the ash after the fire.
          (I could not expect to be left alone forever.)

I will match you breath for breath.

Copyright © 2004 Meggen Lyon All rights reserved
from The Journal
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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