1. Paris

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“Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships, And burnt the topless towers of Ilium--…”
- Christopher Marlowe (from Dr. Faustus)

These words have echoed in my head since I was 16, playing the part of Helen of Troy in our high school play, Faust. Helen is one of my middle names and her story has always spoken to me. As I devoured the Greek myths in my 20s, I became quite taken with the story of Helen and Paris, a story that forms the scaffolding for the Iliad, a book attributed to Homer that predates the bible. In all the varied versions there are descriptions of her legendary beauty and her departure (willingly or not) from Greece and her husband, Menelaus. The catalyst for a 10-year war that ends in the destruction of the shining city of Ilium (Troy). Did she leave with Paris? Was she abducted? Nobody will ever know. In my dyad, she loves Paris and leaves with him willingly. Why? What currency would speak to the most beautiful woman in the world? Perhaps to be seen for herself —beyond her beauty— to the person beneath. Paris’s song is one of romance, Helen’s of desperation.

Written in 2010


In you my time unravels
In you I'm found
Or maybe I'm remembered
In the dance that winds the stillness
Your glance upon this moment
Was weighted by the years
Drown in this desperate silence
By a world that tried to hold you

I see you
Beyond the mask you must wear
Beauty's curse
You shine like those suns
That crest the break of time
Formless waves in the dark

You offered me the pieces
Discarded on the way
Cut from my branches bleeding
In a garden of tangled roses
You spill beyond the edges
Of what is safe to know
I am the wind that follows madly
Deeply your freedom

I see you
Beyond the past you must wear
Beauty's curse
You shine like the suns
That crest the break of time
Formless waves of light

Let the notes between us sing
Oh, let us be who we'd be
Who we'd be without time

Time is a golden apple
A choice without choice
There is no place beyond you
You're the song and you're the singer

I see you
You're the ripples of light
That laugh upon my sea