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