Here’s old destiny’s deal, the god’s decree,
a pregnant promise and a proper oath:
if ever a perennial, imperishable spirit
strikes out in strife and stains his dear body
falling in failure by fraudulent oaths,
he must meander three myriad seasons
coursing down byways banished by the blessed
transmuting in time through all mortal forms,
supplanting one painful path for another.
The passionate spirit first splashes to sea,
sea drags the poor devil onto the dirt of dry land,
From ruddy earth he’s regurgitated to the rays of the sun,
whence again windy air costs him to whirling
of the sea spume,
I too follow form to another
harboring hate for this doom,
from the gods a vagabond wanderer,
a tenant of this terrestrial tomb.
-translated from the Ancient Greek by Nathan Levine
Far East Love Song
Colonize me, baby. I want
your arm around me, your
fist in my hair. I’ll make you
kimchi for breakfast, spicy pho
noodles for lunch, my teeth
at your neck for dinner.
I’ll show you the best way
to put a rabbit on the moon, to
strangle yourself in spiderwebs, to
kill yourself over a man you barely know.
We can be constellation lovers
on a bridge of butterflies. And our first child
will burst into flames, be the death of me. Look for me
in the underworld but turn away
at the last moment. My Orpheus, my Izanagi.
Wash your eyes clean and birth our children,
the moon, the sun, and the storm. We burn
our myths first. This is the end of the story.
Tell me, how do you tame
a dragon lady?
It’s simple: you cut our tongues out.