You thought I was…dead?
That’s silly. I was only sleeping.
Sleep, as I have discovered, is not like death at all,
But rather another state of living. The dead
Don't dream, do they?
I have dreamed, let me tell you,
I have dreamed for a thousand years,
And I have lived more in each one than I have before.
I have dreamed of “the bodies changed into new forms”
As the world began, and I have dreamed of the look of terror
On your mother’s face as it will end…
Tricked? No, I wasn’t tricked into sleep, for
The goblet was full of beauty the whole time.
Don’t you understand? The sleep was beauty:
I dreamed of Chaos before the world began, and
She is “a crude and disordered heap-
Naught but stagnant constancy.”
She did not have logic.
Beauty is what exists outside of logic, you see?
Sleep is beauty, because beauty is what exists outside of logic,
Or underneath it.
It takes the subconscious and the subjective to make up what is sublime.
Nothing more, nothing less.
They say that even Odysseus was made foolish by radiant Penelope.
I opened that box to see what beauty is. I’ve been called
That word my entire life and yet I
What it means.
I thought if I saw what beauty looked like…
It doesn’t matter, at the end of the day.
I have drank the goblet, and I have seen beauty now, and now I am awakened.
You walked through Hell for me.
Men have a strange habit of doing that, don’t they?
Of going to the underworld for a woman they love.
As I said: beauty is the death of logic and the birth of love.
It is these foolish idiosyncrasies of people that are relics of that primordial existence.
How is your mother, by the way?
Oh, I know she still hates me, but I don’t mind.
I never expected a goddess of lust to be rational.
I assume Athena hasn’t found herself a lover yet?
I always liked her. She never looked twice at me.
Give me some of that ambrosia, Cupid.
My throat is dry, and I’m thirsty for godhood.
I’ve left that “poorly united dissonance of the source of things”
For a third and final act in my “perpetual song.”
Just say you abducted me. The gods won’t care.
Author's note: "All the quoted parts in my poem are from the first book of Roman poet Ovid's Metamorphoses. The translation is mine."
Emily McM. is a high school student who enjoys theatre, poetry, art history, and liberal arts in general. She lives in North Texas with her family, cat, and dog.
The Ekphrastic Review
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