OracularCarmen Giménez Smith
I'm Phaedra, badly advised, depraved redundant. I needed flight, so I called to the gods, then remembered I was atheist. I gave my virtue to a son, but he threw it to the ground. The charlatan was my weakness, my weakling knees and I got stuck in the sticks. I needed flight, collected feathers and candles, but the assembly required measure, not like the myth, and a type of daring I didn’t possess. I landed in a bed of cloud, still requiring flight, a transcendence I read about in someone else’s poem, and I wished I were that poem, that poet, wed to the tradition of mimesis, but I was not of that practice. I rolled pennies and quarters into paper sleeves for the first flight out of limbo. I tried to buy a drink, but the steward told me I was too wasted on hubris. We flew in a plane that split open like tin over an ocean that folded us into its animal ferocity. Shark chattel, another flight, but now water’s matter: a gallivant into the caustic domain of urchins where the golden sun-apple swans me, taps my root, mourns me velvet, messengers me. Doodly-do, I'm useless. Watch me suffocate.
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