Smoke Rising from Ithaca
by Faye George
I lay with him and he was not aroused,
Assevering an old wound’s irritant,
A dull ache in the breast that quells passion.
He lies. A clumsy sham, this clever man
To whom I could promise immortal bliss.
I see him, when he thinks me unaware,
Lugubriously pacing by the shore,
Staring off toward north, toward Ithaca,
His little isle of imperishable love.
Craning his neck at every scrap of cloud
That hovers gray above the horizon,
As if his What's–her–name were frying fish
And roasting fowl and venison for him
To come bounding in over the groundsel
With the smell of the sea wet in his hair.
That autumn hair would be bleeding silver,
His brow fissured as a stick of driftwood,
Were he there nodding by the fire with her.
But here he nibbles at his food, grows thin.
I weary of the languor in his eyes.
Why keep him when, within, he burns and dies?