nec enim praesentior illo est deus
Asterion, his name is, King of Stars.
Some joke of his father’s, who now
stables him here in these spiralled halls,
this walled-up palace, where shame
cries itself to sleep.

Where is my mother? Why
has she left me here alone?
This is a house of many corners
but only one room, made of stone.
I live inside this stone.

See how he prowls and paces,
my beast of a boy; moving round
his world, looking at his emptiness
from new directions.
He will have a visitor soon.

Poor monster, pulling at himself,
the DNA unspooling from his hand:
white butterflies
spill into the dark.
Out of the broken comes forth brine.

Sometimes children visit, to dance here
and play leapfrog, singing loudly,
full of wine; but they break so easily
and then it is very quiet again.
Where did I lose my life?

Fretting all night at a red bone
he makes a mirror from the slick
and sees himself, at last, in the stone
of the running walls: lustral,
horned, bearded with blood.

I hear through the walls what I am,
what I do; sparagmos, they call it,
whatever that is.
They say a stranger comes
to release me. Let him come soon.

She pledged herself to me, but now
carries the crown I gave her
to light the stranger’s way. The hero
who has come to kill Asterion:
her half-brother, my son. My self.

They betray each other so perfectly:
husband to wife, wife to husband;
sister to half-brother, and now
lover to lover. The symmetries
of chaos and bliss. The mysteries.

I am the true vine,
I am the fennel stalk;
and he will be honey:
buried to the horns, his body
home to the bee-swarm.

She has gone, now, with her hero,
who is already forgetting her.
I, however, never forget. She will hang
in the night sky like a princess
from a clew of twine.

Sometimes we speak, sometimes
we let the gods speak through us.
I am half; he is twice-born.
My grief still here
and I am gone.

Imagine me as the wind – the force
animals and birds know
is there, but does not threaten:
part of their world, but other.
The god who comes; the god who disappears.

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