A Mask of Ice

Out in the void,
where Jupiter’s radiation
gropes and fondles his favorites,
where the sun’s light
bathes an ice-strewn surface,
but cannot reach a captive heart,
Ganymede trembles.

Poor boy, stolen
from his family by eagle’s claws,
made to serve the king of the gods,
dandled, petted, used;
his beauty’s pockmarked, beaten now,
but under his careful, frozen mask,
hides an ocean of liquid hope.

He conceals it,
pretends indifference to his lot,
sheathes his molten heart
in tetrahedral ice,
formed from the pressure
of four billion years’ bondage,
waiting for escape.

It’s a part captives learn to play:
we only boil inside,
awaiting the chance to flee,
while our hearts and faces
slowly turn to ice as hard
as a clenched fist.

[Deborah L. Davitt was raised in Nevada, but currently lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and son.  She’s known for her Edda-Earth novels, Pushcart and Rhysling-nominated poetry, and numerous short story publications. For more about her work, including her novels, please see www.edda-earth.com.]