Emily Rose Cole
It's as if I'm at once Odysseus lashed
to the mast, & also the sirens' shattering
counterpoint. Think rope-burn & crush
syndrome. Think Zippo, brushwood,
six months of drought. Think of pain as
the peregrine's notched beak, the bandsaw
incarnate, its suffering whine, its greedy
teeth. The fact is, no metaphor satisfies.
My best attempt so far is how our hero
didn't know whether their song was a jinx
or a blessing until he'd thrashed under
its power long enough to learn that "or"
is circumstantial at best. How he wanted it
not to be a premonition of where all loved
& unloved bodies go.
How there was nothing
he could do but listen.