Night Alone in Mytilene, Lesbos

When the light is gone, when the moon is quivering…

the Pleiades are gathered into a drawstring pouch of white stars,

And Orion is aborning, while the Evening Star

has been calling…

The ground is rainy black soil,

black orchid and black chamomile,

Black sky-song, white star path,

Anactoria, I sleep alone

And my fresh chiffon slides from my chest,

into a pile, on the floor…

The rain won’t stop, sweat drips down my breasts,

Selene pulls the Moon Chariot,   

I pull my words onto the page,

When it’s quiet but for the sound of crickets,

the temples and the agora in the distance,

the Aphrodite on my Cretan urn…

While the heat drones, and the wind whispers,

my stylus rustles against papyrus,

and Anactoria, inside her bedroom,

Calling out to me…

Calling, “Psappha, Psappha, Psappha”

Night — alone in Mytilene, Lesbos,

as I write in my bedroom…

And Anactoria, I sleep alone

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