What Elise Means to Me: Euridice


That a heel feels a double needle.

That the gold leaf flaked from her breast

              and settled on my lashes.

That I opened my mouth and there was no music.


              Oh, be quiet, she’d say.

I’m only on the step behind you.

Every day you ascend to the glory

                                          of your apartment, letter G.

It’s no tragedy that you turn and I return to another.


That I couldn’t sing her back.

That she would rather run to the Midwest

and what promise the limitless plains

might whisper

than be goated on the wedding table

smeared with butter amongst the mounded grapes,

the ants the ants and their small voices.


That she coolly appraised me and found me wanting.

That my hand waved to her even as I turned away.


Finally, that these are the veils.

Overlay and inlay, the words

              cover and the words real

the real. Why wave, she asked.

                                                        It’s forever or it’s nothing.

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