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.


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