We nightingale slayers of Centaurs
with soft, high, clear lures for the ear,
hear the bittersweet hydromel and gall.
We scent your ambition on the air,
your thirst for knowledge and approval,
the reassurance of our harpy limbs –
Nothing could be easier, though our appeal
is spirit more than flesh, once you hear
to your heart’s fill, sail on the wiser
or else go mad wondering. We know all
that comes to pass on the fecund earth
though what we promised Odysseus
wasn’t the latest news on the Trojan War.
Oh, were your soul only large enough
to comprehend and love life in every detail:
that your tiny particle of excited mortality
steers the current of that stream, gifting
and plundering, groping blindly through
the labyrinth for axioms, but all you really
want to hear is how much our story
needs you as protagonist, how only
you can solve our riddle and
explain it to us.