"The Minotaur Mind" by Samara Garfinkle

Winding and twisting,

this sinewy labyrinth listlessly

folds in on itself, a maze-like bud

that opens fearfully to the footfalls of man,

and shivers shut.


In his distant corner, the bull of Minos waits

for his next feeding, never maturing from the

dependence of a babe,

curled, his horns bowed.

He does not dare explore his home.

To puncture the stubbornly stagnant air,

he imagines his doting mother:

how she nursed Poseidon's curse,

then cast it off; whose maidenly urges

and incubus designs for his sire,

emergent from the sea, created this

"sorry half-breed—

I am so sorry…"


Shrivelled by potential's shade—

(She only meant to do what was right, surely—

To save him from the damned knowing of what he looked like!)

—he holds his breath so he will have the strange pleasure

of feeling his thoughts dissolve.

(What does she look like?)

He waits to glimpse stars, the tomb catching light

before he takes another coward’s gulp.


Spiralling walls suppress his every whim.

They writhe just like his savage insides.

He wishes to taste humanity again;

it has been a barren year since the last harvest.

How would it be: to be fully aware?

To take in the flesh of the tree of knowledge

on his bestial tongue?


So many routes this minotaur could take,

but cowering between the nook of the wall

and his sunken heart is the only way

to be safe, in shadow.

(To know, as man knows.)

His mind is winding, twisting,

despising its own trappings.



Samara Garfinkle is a classical soprano and a singing instructor with a private studio based in Montreal, Quebec. She's a graduate from the University of Ottawa with a Master of Music in classical voice and is currently studying psychology at McGill University. This is her first submitted poem for Lantern.

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