Helen’s Chaaya / Helen’s Shadow

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you are as I always picture Helen –
the length of your face, eyes, nose, jaw – convex;
Not as much as the poet – in exaggerated stride –
Says that you made wet patches for the unfairer sex.
But, you are Helen, – yes, Helen, look at me – hair, fingers, touch, nails:
And at night as the world in dreams of you half sleeps
Helen – you – to that darkness weeps.

And he, chosen as he is, is not Menelaus: but a security guard
On the moon, whose skype connection falls
Down to earth with a piercing ‘ping’.
I am already in cast for Nestor of Pylos –
The aged seer of the Sandy Nation – and thereby,
I come only after the invasion of
Troy, its fall, and for Odyssey’s first few Books: nor am I
To play for long, besides a meeting with Telemachus and a prophecy to be.

Nestor – swimming the lukewarm seas of desire,
Fantasizing you are wood and checking
Your curves for fire. To strip the bondage of costume
And to – perhaps – re-audition for Paris…
Is as far as a cloud would from Paris float downstream
To the cloud-ripping domes of Los Angeles:
In a word, no – Nestor must Nestor be
And walk the sandy beaches towards the sunset’s sun.


Helen – you – talks to me about Draupadi.
where we meet, bound by zombie-eyes
Of social contracts and normality.
Of five husbands, champions of kindred
Incestuous, possessive, group sex come
Come to the royal house, balance their fucked brains on bums
And gamble away the lustrous eyes, of the
Willing – now unwilling – Draupadi on evil dice.

The look you cast as I absorb the details as they are
Betrays no tears for the night you’d cried:
Makes the hair inside my nose shiver, stand inside.
And where we stand, the ground’s stuck, and around
The ground moves, of people passing rapid and fast
All besides us, kicking up dust with their hooves,
Giving no second glance – while watching us – giving no
Backward eye to note. I inhale you like I do. Turned on, I float.

Only if it doesn’t matter – all this, what’s to be,
What will be done, and what other
Complications a war fought on your behalf would patter;
Only then would we be free from consequences and lies
Of kissing you from your curved sole, to the lashes
That enhance the truth in your eyes. When you need not whisper,
And dream someone else’s slow-scripted song: only then
Would you be free of myth; absolved from fear and wrong.



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