I am shattered, an empty vessel.
But while I have a chance
to whisper what I have held:
the purple taste of my grandmother's choked worries,
the crimson vibrations of my mother's fiery nature,
the leafy green integrity of my sister,
the bright yellow warmth of my brother,
the indigo silence of my father,
oh, the ancient amber voices,
the song of stone and water and tree,
the quicksilver seduction of civilization's dying soul...
the sharp arrows in my quiver--
Eldest, who carries my mother's fire,
Second, who folds herself to fit any space,
Third, whose heart is older than her mind,
Fourth, our joy, sorrow, and unraveling mystery,
Fifth, our stubborn, capricious beauty.
My gift and curse is to be a bridge
between yesterday and tomorrow,
words and forms,
fire and ice.
Let me speak first, then I will melt away,
a grey mist...
If only one pair of eyes
is opened to the colors
of my joy
I will fade into contented obscurity.
A dreamless sleep falls from the shimmering leaves. --Sappho fragment, tr. Andrew Bellon I changed, thickened, ...
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