Rinaldo Enchanted by Armida
There is nothing wrong with this picture.
The heavens open as only they can in myth,
and through that marvelous gap, a chariot
sweeps down: a woman reins in the cloud-wings
of her stallions. She wafts you to her bosom
with a flick of her finger.
You pinch yourself,
but then, you lie back and close your eyes, as she
descends, the clouds billowing about her body
the wisp and flex of their gossamer power.
Everywhere, pieces of sky, little amoretti, appear;
you drop your sword, your shield, . . . the helmet
which held your imagination so tightly to your head;
all the enchantments of war fall before her
as if this could keep you from your destiny.
Tim Mayo is the author of The Kingdom of Possibilities (Mayapple Press, 2009) and Thesaurus of Separation (Phoenicia Publishing, 2016), which was a finalist for the 2017 Montaigne Medal and a 2017 poetry category finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Award. Publications include Barrow Street, Narrative Magazine, Poetry International, Poet Lore, River Styx, Salamander, San Pedro River Review, Tar River Poetry, Web Del Sol Review of Books, Verse Daily, and The Writer’s Almanac. He is a six time Pushcart Prize Nominee, a finalist for Paumanok Award, and the recipient of two Vermont Writers Fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center. He lives in Brattleboro, VT, where he was a founding member of the Brattleboro Literary Festival.
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