Antiquity

Lonely like coffee cups, you stained my teeth dark green,

And wore borders of countries that only myth could name.

Pandora gave me a second chance at this cruel world.

“Close your eyes. Open your soul. Take this toothpick

And don’t let go.” I did as I was told, cutting my bones, singing

The promised words to a song I could not sing to myself.

 

Lonely like my father, I found the perfect shade for myself.

He couldn’t see the forest so he bruised our eyes dark green;

We shut them wide and you moved mountains when I start singing.

Raising Rome from my ruins, you spoke my ancient name,

Carrying it to your cave, carving my pupils with toothpicks.

I saw fire. I saw a liar. I saw your whole goddamned world.

 

I was merely a template, a smudged border in a blurrier world.

My father was right. You were just a checkpoint keeping me from myself.

I returned to Pandora and begged for another chance, using her toothpick

To point out the details you had missed, to add the missing dark green.

I opened my soul. It echoed to you, echoed anew: a quieter name.

I did as you asked. I hid shorelines from sailors until they stopped singing.

 

We sculpted Eden from mud and toothpicks. When will you stop singing

In this language of no lips? To translate my maiden name

Is to cross my second fate and exist in Rome’s ruins. In your world

There was never a second chance for us. So I lied. I lied to you, to myself.

Did I really believe you’d stay when you ran from everything dark green?

Our grave had no skeletons, only gold lies and blood-stained toothpicks.

 

Pandora’s sea grew bold and pricked holes in our sky. She used my toothpick

To flood open her soul when I forgot the ancient words, but kept singing

Your flawed words. I was free to raise new ruins from Rome. I swallowed dark green

Eden and hellfire. A shitload of ire. I swallowed more than your entire world.

My fingertips, they burned. My eyelids stirred. I summoned sinners like myself

Who knew of sunlight but only remembered darkness and their bitter name.

 

I returned to Pandora one last time and asked her for my old name.

“I have seen enough,” I wept. “Give me another toothpick.

I’d like to make a scarecrow out of myself.”

But my voyage was not complete until I stopped singing

Wordless pleas to your edgeless blade, bringing this stone-cold world

To its edgeless fate. I could taste nothing but death and dark green.

 

Say it was never meant to be. My toothpick-throat, this empty boat, singing

Your last name until we forgot our heavenly vows. I reflected an entire world

For you. I lied, but I did not bleed. I simply painted myself in dark green.

 

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