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The Futility of Being Perceived: A Hymn to Circe

The Futility of Being Perceived: A Hymn to Circe

“Serpent, sea-witch, wife.”
The years of tyrannical sameness

draw out a revolution of names.
Does she grow old, who lives in folklore? Frail, or sick?

Or changeless and static, to be released only

when the lore no longer sits dry

and red in our mouths?
Must she be observed to exist?


Hesiod breathed this sort of life into your son.

Who lived under that faultless, immortal poetry?

Did he serve witness to his mother,

kill his father? Did you love a man? Did you stay your hand

at his downfall? Etch your name

into the soft, weak gold of glory? Was it futile?


Homer never mentioned children.

It makes one wonder.
Do you sleep under layers of myth,

ashen nymph, grateful for the shroud?

If the mythology has transfigured, are you still you?

Or do you only wear her name?


Was it stolen, Circe? Woven over, your mouth covered,
the chant of hymns like siren shrieks?
Or did you part softly,
slip your red name from your shoulders like folds of silk?
I see you, hair unbound and streaming,

washing your hands in the ocean.

Glory is the spoil of fools, you sing.


Tell me, Circe, did you have children?
Did they beat your silhouette into iron coins,
beat the poet until the pages ran red with your name?

Was it futile?
Did your mother ever come around?


I still see amber pearls twined in sea salt hair.

But her name. Do you even remember?
Do children’s children remember at all?
Can you still see their faces?

Are you with them now?

Are you alone, alone, alone.