If what you wish to behold
is the rhythm of my world,
consider this shadow in a chair at a desk.
I have been a crust upon the sill
for far too long.
I am Polyphemus, the Ocean’s son,
three thousand years from my father,
two thousand leagues from my flowering isle,
an empty edifice, a broken clockface,
a shrunken, meek man,
fearful and alone.
This man is no-man,
crouched at a desk like a locust’s shell,
and I clutch him to me,
to my mouth, which cannot speak,
to my eye, sight spun inward,
to my sagging flesh
doomed to everlasting life.
I am Polyphemus,
although my name and place
The loneliest of men
must have a pet,
what matters the promenade?
A park or kitchen counter?
I must measure something
beyond the insect souls you send me
for breakfast, that gristly fare.
It is clear you monitor
my hidden thoughts,
but you see distortions… or seem to see…
My visit to the lady
was regulated carefully,
discrete dress, park bench time,
and a bagful of food won me favor.
She was a distraction,
a curiosity, a holiday,
but I wished for redemption.
All parts and plays fuse into one,
but this transcends your plans.
She wore her skin like a balm,
her hands sticky with dark paste.
She slipped away as I fell apart,
voiceless in regret and shattered dreams,
I shuffled out and left my human shell
like a rumpled suit upon her floor.
I have clipped and crimped willful things the last time.
Leave me to the streets,
a purblind reflex with no face.
Let me leave this land!
Ulysses left me wounded and alone,
that trickster bastard and his crew,
why can’t I depart, a goatherd in a foreign land?
Let me sail like a seer among storms,
squinting past lashing wind and sleet,
grasping the ropes to trim the sails,
into the unknown once more and forever.