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
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.