Tantalus

ταλάντατος talantatos ~ one “who has to bear much”

Twenty-six years after your death,
you still visit me in dreams,

holding out an empty bowl, gesturing
toward a tree whose branches keep

receding. I don’t know what these
visitations mean, don’t know what kind

of fruit continues to escape your reach.
I don’t know if this is a parable

about how desire is never sated, not even
in death— Your mouth opens and closes:

distraught fish, urgent semaphore. Bone-
white flash of light blinking its message

from the other side. When I was young
I wondered what it would feel like to be

pushed to the front of the line, to take
a turn offering a shoulder for the gods

to gnaw on. To stand in a pool of water,
thirsty for what I still can’t name.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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