Spring 2010

Pandora

Given to afterthought,
I was created for this moment.
But what did I do?
I was passive, bountiful,
of beautiful intentions.
Now comes the rush.
It repeats as in a dream.
Seeing it repeat
clarifies nothing.
What am I seeing?
No dream
was ever so complete
and so strange.
 
To seek relief
in a vision of dust:
the jar
was a grave-jar,
and sometimes, from grave-jars,
souls flutter and escape.
I looked for him there.
Held out for his bones.
But his bones turned to hope
in the rush.
And I am strangely changed.
And he has again escaped.
What did I do?
 
Seek relief
in the rush,
in the memory
of the memory
of dust.
Between grief and hope
I choose grief, for hope
has its foot on my throat,
and grief is the mercy.
Now — again — comes the rush.
What do I do?
 
Given to afterthought.
How to explain?
To she who is all-giving,
afterthought is least forgiving.

SHARON MESMER

 

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from G. W. Pabst's Die Büchse der Pandora (1929)