Do you know what happens to lovers? Whirlwinds
force them together, connect their elbows and ankles, their tongues.
They make you push limits, press things.
There's pleasure in pressing, certainly, but
is there any in being pressed? Is there any
in being forced to rise to an occasion?
How far can these things be pushed?
Ask Ganymede if he sighed with love when his shoulders
were in the eagle's claws, if joy passed briefly across his face
before he was borne away-- ask, does rapture mean loving but not choosing?

Because rapture's not just pecking and preening or stroking
the downy scruff of something dear, it's about
coming to blows and losing.
You'll know it when the raptor's upon you,
when you hear the wind split against his wings as he swoops,
and you're leaving the ground.
Until you're taken, you never really understand standing,
there's a reason people talk about being grounded.
It's when you're rising, climbing without looking
down, that you start to wonder about the falling,
about the ceiling on this kind of thing, how much higher you can be pushed.



Tie a church bell around the waist of Tantalus
and let it drag as he paddles through the wine.
Let him wriggle and ring, filling his mouth
with grapes in the hope that maybe just the sound
of his suffering could be enough.
Let him lie on the shore, panting,
and ring the bell above him. 
Trust that he suffers still.



If and when you find yourself sent down, know that you're not
the first; there's a thread of revulsion that runs from before you were born
to a knot in the darkness ahead, tied to the horns of the first
bastard. There's an entire history of those who chose to take the bull by the horns.

A few days in, it was the sound of him that first found them in the dark;
the walls would give up pebbles as the bull's hideous weight fled across them,
the stuttering tumble of stone on stone a measure of distance.
It came and went, but most often they were alone in the maze.

It was by following the track worn in the wall that they found him,
a shadow curled in the greater dark.
They would find him sleeping, flanks twitching in dreams,
and they would run, praying for life, eating spiders.

When my turn comes, I’ll lay with him there;
Bend my back against his chest and let him keep me.
I will reach through his matted hair to his horns,
stroke each one lovingly, and make the dispossessed once more a king.