Helen, why have you come? To hear your name
Possess the harbor like a hymn again?
Your ships are ages gone, nothing's the same:
The seas stand empty of our gods and men.
You wear the easy gown I favored most;
See there, my blood yet clings at breast and
O, that my wild blood were alone the cost
Of all we set in motion, you and I!
Ten years your lover, I will tell you this:
You loved your legend only. And when soot
Was all that loomed at Troy, and the shore's
The one sane sound, fields smoking to the root,
You took the morning tide, sailing apart,
Resting your case on a blind poet's heart.
From Firebreaks, Salmon Run
Press, © 1999.
by permission of the author.