The Second Isolde

aloneI hired the best musicians to beautify the background
through dinner meals or as we sat at the fire,
and I played the violin, taught by a traveling magician.
I learned the songs of my people and of his also.
I had a voice the animals in the field would stop to hear.
I bathed in herbs the magician gave me and smoothed
my arms and legs with perfumed oils that came
on the ships from the East. I searched my own thoughts
for fragments of unloveliness and found only smoke
trails of my desire spiraling like a downed goose
toward the forest he would not enter.

–Shaun Perkins

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