The Quiet Softness
About Queen Dido, you wonder,
if at some point early enough for
self-prevention she could have
hung up mythology for a safe
nakedness of, hey, herself, even
if judged (when the world sees you
as you were born it confronts fear
of isolation and transformation,
and the world detests confrontation
unless it’s brutal and there’s victory
or a shield or rhymed manuscript
rendering titanic loss as fame).
Dido was Phoenician. I would like
to be Phoenician, say it with me,
Phoenician. Don’t you like me
more, now? Forgetting rapture in
the arms of an accomplished heart
or the quiet softness of a penis
sighing, Aeneas sailed his cock
to Rome, leaving her in Carthage,
the city of her breasts stomach
hips, configurations of the universe.
Dido. Were his promises to be
believed, really. You can still
tell him no. And it’s going to be
a while before translations of war
and abandonment no longer make
sense. In your lovely city you canweep. Yours, you built it, weep.
Sarah Sarai, published in Gargoyle 57, 2011, edited by Richard Peabody.
I know a poet who lives in one of the many Phoenicas; a lucky Phoenician.
Photo: a San Francisco company's production of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. More on the Urban Opera HERE.