A Poetical Break

by Liz

For Sappho and H.D.

“What is beauty to me?”

I envy you your androgyny
Your ability to shift
From one thing to another
As though you were nothing at all
Not less than a man
Nor greater than woman
Or more tasteful
Than the smell of singing violets

I envy you the ability to stand
Without poles or foundations
You float like clouds
Blending in the breeze
Its face is the strangest beautiful
And makes puzzles for passersby
By the almond of your eye
And the confusing fullness
Of your pillow lips

Adaptability is not the same
Flying with leather wings
Does not make me a bird
No matter how dark

I envy you your androgyny
An Adonis of Troy couldn’t
Be more seductive
And strange
You change independent
Need no one but itself
And its petal-hard reflection

I envy you the freedom
Of being neither nor the other
But still contain the cosmos
Like the ocean stuttering
Or the South wind blowing full
Of faraway spice and sour earth
While I am set like a stone on flat prairie
Grown up with grass
Forgotten by Sisyphus for his troubles


-Elizabeth Hayes 2011