Friday, December 2, 2011

[Note:  Years ago I lost one of my dearest friends...not in the end-of-life kind of way...but in the...well, I'm not really sure in what way exactly (or at least I'm not brave enough to say it here).  I wrote this for him because of all my losses, his weighs on my conscious more often than not...] 

 viernes santo

I.
Dusk settles
and I sit at the entrance
waiting
hoping that the minotaur
will come to me
hoping that I will
not have to enter.

Dusk simmers
and I know that our story is connected
by
this labyrinth
this librinth.
In my heart I know
that if I'd wait until Sunday
he'd come out into the light.

Dusk sputters
and I only have about
forty five minutes on the meter
so I close the book
that I'm pretending to read
and enter.

II.

Dusk suspended
outside
Ariadne in exile
and there is no visible
thread here to guide me.

I formulate a plan
to find a path
to the middle
through these stacks of books
that have liberated me
as much as they've imprisoned me
I remember Borges' trick
and continuously turn left
and enter passageways where
men are sleeping on couches
illuminated by broken televisions
I steer clear of craze-eyed students
frantically typing
in anticipation of some sort of resurrection
or maybe some sort of redemption.

I turn and walk
and the sun will set soon
I think of Ariadne, threads, and
about how I've always been lost in places
of parchment splattered with dry, black ink
I think and turn
and find him.

III.
Dusk deferred
I know the mechanics of the myth
that this is the point that I erase the minotaur
from the labyrinth
and purify it
and maybe this is what I would have done
in another world
another time
but for now I just stand over him
as he stares back
with nostrils flaring
and horns trembling.

I look at him
and compose my words
allowing to arrange themselves
into what comes out is an invitation
and we exit the library.

Dusk determined
while we sit and eat campus cooked pizza
and I use the only weapon I've ever known to
pry into his mind
but realize that all my readings
have not prepared me for this.

I remind the beast that he has
a home far from this place
he looks at me with unreadable eyes
and finishes his meal
and tells me that he has to get back to work
we exit the cafe and walk to the crossroads.

Dusk indifferent
and we say our goodbyes
he re-enters his prison
of mortar and paper
and I walk off
silently
in its shadow.