Atlas

by Christopher Stein

 

The higher you are, the closer you are
to the gods enthroned in alabaster;
but the closer you are to the gods,
the farther afield you must flee to find yourself.

At the edge of the earth, your knees give out,
and the stars give out, fall out of their candelabra
plunk into the sea, someone needs to paste
them back against the dome, stop the stutter
of tesserae as they tumble toward Tartarus.

Lightning scrawls my fate across the sky,
and I gather my ragged cocoon about me.

Grunt and curl your shoulders to fit the curve
of earth and heaven as they meet at
the flushing, gasping chamber of your heart.

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