blackbird online journal Spring 2008  Vol. 7  No. 1



For Penelope

Gypsies read in his palm that they would be together
after all of the histories, all of the journeys inward and out.
We put our faith in beliefs that give us pleasure.
He put his faith in the gypsy
who foretold Penelope’s black hair and olive skin
as if from a vision, her eyes closed tightly,
her hands enfolding his hands. We believe
in what we need to  believe to stay calm or sane
inside the matrix of a life
not entirely of our choosing or design,
but irreversible as a promise made
under ancient skies. Her promise, for example,
that she made with her eyes to him, and with her mouth,
and with the flower of her hands held before her,
and with her white thighs that she parted for him,
so in his mind, dying of weariness, dying of burdens,
in the vacuum of without her, this love will never end.