Categories
Poetry

Legends in Verse

By Jared Carter

Sarcophagus with the myth of Protesilaus and Laodamia. Here, Laodamia grieves for the loss of her husband Protesilaus in the Trojan War. From a tomb along the Via Appia Nuova, ca. 160-170 CE: Creative Commons
Laodamia to Protesilaus

If you were lost, how would I find you,
what path take along dark streets, through
damp vaults, how untangle those choices
far underground, those myriad voices?

If I were gone, you could no longer follow
through great spillways, or deep hollows
in that world. My footsteps would fade,
there would be no echo, no light or shade.

Still, somewhere your presence ahead
would call, through realms of the dead,
through time imploded and turned back,
platform deserted, abandoned track.

No pause in this long pursuit, this seeking
that has no end. Neither of us speaking,
or able to break the spell – neither chase
nor surrender. Only the lost, familiar face.

(First published in The Raintown Review.)


Resurrection

The body rises up at last,
          it cannot keep
Its distance from what comes to pass,
          when more than sleep

Is beckoning. To bid adieu
          and still to bless,
Savonarola reached out through
          the flames; and pressed

Against them, Frida Kahlo sat
          upright, as though
Awakening at last from what
          is merely show.

(First published in Clementine Unbound.)


Jared Carter’s most recent collection, The Land Itself, is from Monongahela Books in West Virginia. His Darkened Rooms of Summer: New and Selected Poems, with an introduction by Ted Kooser, was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2014. A recipient of several literary awards and fellowships, Carter is from the state of Indiana in the U.S.

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PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL

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