The Poem Flees in the Same Manner I Once Saw Myself

Cassandra imploring Athena's revenge against Ajax the LesserPitched and sprinting down the backstreets
of our tiny island town, and water on all sides,

and a small girl, brown hair airborne like a Nike
swoosh, and to the West, the atom bomb

explodes, a whoosh of fire on a quest to take me
out, and nipping at my clever heels which feel

the singe, now I’m a madman, fleetfoot hurdler, fleeing
murder, oh, I wish you could have heard her, skipping

fences in a single leap. The town’s a heap of ashes,
a fringe of flame that lashes— that’s the world’s end

at my back, there’s the water with its final, breathless grave.
Why no eros without thanatos? Why am I slave

to both? I couldn’t let her drown. With nowhere left
to go, the fire in pursuit, the root of everything,

I turned her south: my life will not be swallowed
by my psyche’s awful mouth.

 

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About evanduyne

I'm assistant professor of writing at Stockton University, where I'm also affiliated faculty in the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program. I work on Sylvia Plath, contingent faculty, and creative writing around trauma and domestic violence.
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