The Swan Ii - Poem by Morgan Michaels
Paris may change- my heart cannot!
Shiny new palaces, annexes, blocks,
All for me become preposterous allegory
Making my memories heavy as rocks.
Again, before the Louvre, the vision recurs-
I see my poor swan, I hear its fruitless prayer
And bewail the heart of every exile
Endlessly gnawed by longing and despair.
And, of you, Andromache- by Hector's empty tomb
Tossed from a hero's arms
To his murderer's son, then on to those of Helenus:
Once Hector's wife, now his brother's-
And, I think of the Black, feverish and poor,
Kneeling in the sand, staring tired-eyed
Toward the African shore
Where things come at once to unruly fruition
And all who've lost what can never return.
Who banquet on tears
Suckle the breasts of Despair
And wither like flowers watered with salt-rain.
Stunned in its wood, my soul hears
Memories ring out like distant horns;
I think of castaways, stranded at sea,
Of prisoners, of foreigners and others, still.
from the French of Baudelaire
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