|Oct/Nov 2013 Poetry Special Feature|
Electronic/fiber artwork by Phillip Stearns
Ariadne Asks Daedalus for a Map
The question she wants to ask most
is a lump in her throat, a skein of words
she can't unwind or untangle.
But it's a warm night and the moon is full,
her feet fall softly on the ocean-salted grass,
the quick tha-thump of her woven sandals.
Icarus opens the door as she knocks,
looks her in the eye, his pupil and iris a ripple
of concentric rings in a pool of gray.
She leans right, looks past his shoulder
at the old man lying in the candlelight.
Once inside, they circle the candle.
They are a trio: the father, the son,
and the worn spirit of the girl.
Their shadows abandon them for
the stucco wall, grow until their heads hit
ceiling, shrink in fear of the dark when
the candle flame flickers low against its wick.
A map for the labyrinth, surely he'll give her
a map. Listen, véa, he wheezes,
you can't solve the labyrinth like a riddle,
can't draw it out like a maze. It's detailed
as a fingerprint, dense as the mind.
With this, he hands her a ball of thread,
and looks back at their shadows, lets her
gaze at the golden fibers on that clew shine
an electric yellow sheen by the candle, lets her
drift away silently off into the cyan sunrise.