Looking Out at the Aegean

Once in a sleep tinged with sun, tinged with night-dark wine on a white porch

Dry heat cracked under foot, under hats, in my lungs like an old curse.

Five thousand miles in a ship with a silvery skin and a bright torch,

Can't quite silence the soft-toed sinking of songs into blank verse.

Sing me a myth with a strong call, stronger than nineteen's blue lull,

Wider than all of the waves you can see on a chilled day, storm-worn;

Faster than I'll ever go with my own oars, slick sail, thick hull

Stuck on a strand where I ought to be gold-hearted, gold-haired and first-born.

Once in a book that I swallowed in syllables, medicine parsed pure,

Travelers told me the way through the whirlpools and yawn–flooded quicksands;

Didn't they see that their hero was nothing but eyes on a lost shore?

Hate in his nobody-name and an echo of home in his sick hands.

— Mara Miller

Mara Miller, 24, is a writer and editor with a Classics degree from Haverford College. She lives in Fairmount. Visit her at theeffecteffect.com.