Don’t kill me, father!
— Euripides, Herakles
Freshly cut, it is bluish white.
It tarnishes in the moistness
of air to grey. The grey allows
the black to show through. The first dose
drowns the original anger
in bright bliss. The next doses take
the anger, hide it, increase it,
make it indistinguishable
from what is now the dark; is now
the brother of need. No way back
to try to stand and see that change.
Or imagine I will save you,
my father, before or after
you are like a man whose eyes roll
in his head and who releases
leadtipped arrows into his sons.
Those sons move like slow birds and fall.
The sky they look out at narrows
and then there is no sky. No way
back to where I see clear, intact,
even my memory of you.
I am neither cursed nor favoured.
I drink what you drank in my heart
that drinks blood and time, while it stays
lodged in me, lustreless metal,
hate not mine and mine, resisting
corrosion, conducting nothing,
and I carry the weight of it.
I simply carry it, with eyes
that carry light. I carry it.