Labyrinth (Theseus and Minos, or, Daddy Issues)

you paint me in broad slashes of pretty colors,
paint a masterpiece onto my skin.
the colors drip and trace
the lines on my hips, trace
every broken plea,
but you still want to put me in a museum.
you’d build me a palace, and you have:
a tower so high you can’t see me at the top.
It’s not a small kingdom any longer,
it’s a labyrinth in the clouds and I am Pasiphae;
I will give birth to nightmares
until you can’t kill them all.
And you’ll weave us blankets to keep out the cold,
a dowry chest crafted
to hold still all my lies
to wrap up the ice in my bones; believe it won’t burn you,
and the yarn that led you into the maze
will weigh you down onto my bed.
you’ll spin out a story to keep me believing
that the Mother of Monsters is tamed,
that you’re safe,
and the children I bear in my panic and fear
will rip every last seam
of the tapestries in your halls.
I am not Daedalus, who turned to creation
even as the Gods turned against him.
I would tear apart the nets that catch me as I burn.
More like Icarus, asking for something that hurts,
but in this case it’s you who will fall,
and maybe Pasiphae, not Minos, was the villain after all.

[Reilly S. Blackwell is a writer and cellist living in Southwest Virginia, among the Blue Ridge Mountains. She is inspired by her garden, the intricacies of music and science as they relate to the written word, and the bones of the mountains around her. Reilly’s poetry has previously appeared in Exercise Bowler and Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. She performs original work and other compositions regularly in the New River Valley area.]

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