The Courtyard

Though I cannot believe,
I cannot forget–  the details spiral
Deep inside.  Once you give them names,
They are not simply tenants of the mind.
They own you— own the places, problems,
Pages on the bookshelf of your life.

The power has shifted.
Though you no longer incant the prayers,
Still the categories of good and bad are
Etched upon the heart.  Even worse,
Unnamed gods cannot be banished.
They seize heartache, shape transcendence
Till you raise your head to howl,
And even then the cry, the memory,
The haunting calls them back at once.
Sleeping in crevices, fissures, still they
Scold so freely that it is clear
They once were bedmates.

There is no easy way to get there.
Sing to Aphrodite, attend the sacred
Festivals, worship at whatever altar you construct,
Lodged within the throat, the melody
Becomes your patrimony, your inheritance,
Your dance within this house, this hour,
This courtyard of your life, for better or
For worse, whether it matters or not.

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