The Minotaur’s Epitaph

Of course my prison had to be ornate:
it held a prince. I tried, at first, to chart
its turns, compose a history of Crete,
a treatise on the tyranny of art.
But now I dream of straight lines, and a plain
unfenced by the horizon, of pulling my own plow,
a hell besides my ramifying brain,
a harem of flies to crown my leathery brow.

Its meandering profile meant betrayal,
and that my royal lineage had strayed
to a dead-end. But let the brute part fade
from memory; words scraped in the labyrinth’s wall
affirm it mastered speech, the throat’s thin blade
that separates us from the animal.


Michael Lavers