Sounds from another life

We need new myths instead of these recycled yarns,
not just re-imagined bodies of the old, where Achilles
will always crumble, Troy will always fold and we are enjoined
from entering. Because if every story begins on the second page,
it carries the weight of the past in love and hate
and most of all in knowing how déjà vu skitters in
to tell us how it must end.
Pull me out of that place where things lack names, where careful weavers
have already stitched their nouns into all our suspicions.
Steer me down the Thames or the Styx while I pretend
these neat streams possess for us both the same sound.
Like the stone’s many arcs across the pond’s skin
(while Narcissus reflects while almost falling in)
we can never truly begin from scratch when someone,
somewhere and sometime has etched the constellation,
gripped at the same boundless flesh and given it language.
Only now we share Sisyphus’s itchy sameness, knowing
a single point rolls itself into many conversations
until enough of this universe holds its shape
because the same stories flow through us as if our understandings
were preordained. Even the mythopoetic has a purpose,
if only as the string between teller and listener,
granting us an elsewhere to tell skin from sky.

This Other Voice

Has been burning away for months, or weeks and it refuses
to speak in neat lines, to dress itself in some cloak of mystery.
At least completely. It’s not dishonest, even now
to admit that I would retreat behind the covers, away
from plain prose truth. I can’t help this flight,
the way it tangles up and caps what promises bright simplicity.
But running from this other voice feels too much
like admitting futility, like knowing that these words
will always speak double because I need them to.
Because I refuse to hold the strings in place so you can
see the fingering as one tune begins, to hold them down
in place while the performance turns over.
(Because I want them to.)
If you cannot see the presence of hands, perhaps you will
forget the presence of hands, their pressing and producing.
Even as I try to bring this to a close, to escape this yearning
to not speak, I remember that here even this is a song,
that a stage, there the daggers poised, pretending.