Copyright © 2001 Richard Baumgart

Postscript from Hades

Thinking this might be my last season in life.
Thinking that death is not an answer, that the gull's
rinsed cry is a vowel that won't cast anchor,
won't serrate the gulf. Thinking that my love

was not meant for one lifetime, but for the stilled
valley of being, for the shifting of limestone,
for the fossilized breath of the dark. Thinking that song
is not suffered but shorn. Thinking that we peel

night from our bodies like salt. Thinking I can learn
to live with it, with this scull of a soul threading
the river Lethe. Thinking the last time I touched you
I crossed the last vespers. Mother,

I think the darkness has a name.
I think hell is my only lover.
I think, come spring, I will rise like a dead woman
carrying the blackened seeds of my heart.

Elizabeth Knapp
Copyright © 2001

A graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars, Elizabeth Knapp is currently Associate Poetry Editor of Pif Magazine. Her work has appeared in The Drunken Boat and 2River View, and is forthcoming in Cider Press Review.

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