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LIFE WITHOUT PSYCHE
by Alicia Zadrozny

On the days without rain, they wheel Eros
outside the Old Age Home
to sit in the weak sun

Now spotted, quite toothy and
quite touched,
He shouts at Beauty
–the pretty girls
and the working ladies—
one by one,
as they stride clickety-clack
clickety-clack
to the mall
and the sandwich shop

“Now there’s a good-looking one.”
“Come sit on my lap.”
“Oh I’d like to hold YOUR hand.”

They do not turn back

He sinks into Chaos
forgetting
that he once knew a woman
regular as she was lovely and
how her eyes lanced, the oil
spilling from her lamp

As the day draws in tight, they bring
Eros in for dinner,
now sleepy and benign,
and he remembers something like heaven,
his piercing by the softest hand

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: For a couple of years near a former workplace, I had witnessed an old man verbally harass all the women who walked by him on warm afternoons. I really detested him and his quite embarrassing behavior. Eventually, I decided to write a poem imagining him as Eros. In this case, Psyche had never completed her quests. If he was a thwarted god, doomed to live without eternal love, perhaps I could forgive him. This helped—mostly.

IMAGE: “Cupid Carrying Psyche Up to Heaven” (detail) by Maurice Denis (1908).

AZ

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alicia Zadrozny is a writer and editor based in New York City. She is currently completing an MFA in creative writing at Manhattanville College. In May 2014, she studied the work of Dylan Thomas as part of a 100th birthday celebration in Wales. Now home, she hopes to meet his ghost one day at the White Horse Tavern.