The prescribed sleep makes her hear

everything clearly. Gone are nights

of grand departures and warring gods

vying for the last word. This new

season brings acute sighs of grubbed out

thistle and ragworts resisting asphyxia.


She feels little about the vacancy

their slow death offers,

the rows of poppy seed and chickpeas

she might plant.


She feels little at all, actually.

Infernal torpor.


Hasn’t even considered why

every mirror is veiled by gauze,

singed by the lantern’s flame.

She has only the vaguest memory

of her former self or how that otter smooth

arrowscar on her arm got there or how

Venus thrust her head against the cellar floor.

She can’t see the welted geometry

Worry’s whipmarks left on her back.

Time, that immaculate housekeeper, long

since removed the yellow tape, cleaned

blood pools and dusted crystal vessels

filled with black rankwater and gales.


All the Gods who saved her have new caseloads.

Her sisters have washed ashore.


Pleasure is crying, starved.

Tonight’s supper is burning (again).

Psyche opens the oven door, places her bare

hands on the Calphalon pan spilling over

with ambrosia (again) and tells the family

it’s time to eat. They gather round her.

Cupid doesn’t notice her blistering scalds,

or know she revels in being scorched awake,

in the moments before giving thanks

for their darkened portion

of forever.


There are limits to what

even Love can know.