Friday Poem


Circe is my name
they call me witch
and magician
and charmer.
I love the sea
the fury of the sea
against the rocks
and its dark cliffs.
I never loved a human
not even Ulysses
could I love.
I like the fleeting moment
the spark
and not the blaze
the accidental encounter
without goodbyes.
I was always faithful to my destiny
it propelled me.
I toyed with men
they fell giddy
into my nets.
I changed them into beasts
I changed them again into forms
and they went on loving me
and wove garlands for me.
I tired of my game
it was puerile.
I got rid of all of them
at once
I was left without slaves
without young men
without beasts
all alone
in my sepulchral island
all alone facing the sea
with the east winds
condemned to myself
and to peace.
My memories are terse
my gaze
hard and empty
the gaze of a seagull
or albatross.
Perhaps if I had loved
some dart would pierce my memory.

by Claribel Alegria
Curbstone Press, 1999