You’re Mine. (An Amorous Obituary) – Sofija Popovska

“Underworld Tea-Party (From Eurydice, to Orpheus)”


I bring the customary cup of futile porcelain dust to my lips with a shaking hand.

Somewhere, the noose tightens.

Actually, everywhere.

Smoke bombs erupt inside crystals, rough precious walls fill with irresolvable opacity. 

Please —

I will walk an Odyssey one day. I would walk now.

The vacuum is a test of courage. Before I can walk I must stay dead. 

A corpse played by a marionette. Oil paint stains sentimental wooden joints. 

The strings ache; they do not move.

Love is the only (important) thing. Sometimes it fades in and out, out for longer. 

I guess we call that death. Sometimes it rushes through me and doesn’t stop.

“I’ve never felt alive before this,” I yell over a passing train. 

It slices the blue rain cloud; smell of departure. 

It yanks the words out of the air with a roar. The casket closes shut.

A thud for some, a click for others. I lose your name but I hold on to the sage green taste at the tip of my tongue.

It’s the last thing I have. The only thing. 

I wade through strange plants looking for you. 

It’s just to pass the time: I know you’re not here.

Forgetting is the kind of green when a pond rots. Fish in the water belly-up. 

Lethargic terminal mold.

I hope for an iron tear from the Grim Emperor. A guiding wind, a ticket.

Until then, you may see me in a dream.


“Icarus and the Sun”


There’s nothing, nothing here. A road springs from and disappears into sand.

The noon is a shadow — blind cataract grey. Light but no sun. 

A bomb erupts within a crystal. Shattering that is fundamental and inexpressible. 

Atomic erasure.

After a blast like that, the physical remains become The Only Thing. 

Loneliness is Second Death. Soul Death. 

The desert is unforgiving because it can’t dream. 

Fade to previous scene. Grey city. Frazzled coats. 

Dirt hisses at passing cars, blue after rain smell mixed with excrement, gasoline. 

Icarus rots in a train station coffee shop. Anorexic wax, wind-hardened, 

Frozen to immortalize the moment of burning. 

The Sun being mother-red was a lie. The Sun is a blade, an impossibility. 

An elegant headsman.  

A false promise of fusion, completion — a marvel of exquisite cruelty. 

He returns to the Sun a second time, asks him to finish the job.

Rock garden, rosy dawn. Icarus observes a soulfully knotted black bough. 

Gusts of cherry blossom migrate in the God-wind. 

The sound of cutting is sure and refined, but the tragedy isn’t there. 

There isn’t a death — an expiration date was reached. 

The Sun buries Icarus following the appropriate rites.


“Tangle of Cables”


I am gray and see-through

In the chlorine fog — through the curtains.

The world is a ring.

The world is like a bathroom tile — silent, acidic, slouched.

Time eats itself again, and I am a tangle

Of sensitive cables and bruised knots, train whistles,

And that midnight when the sky rained down

Starlight, laughter, neon glares,

Laughter down the sidewalks illuminated

With palpitating night vision. Rained down

Shadows — a tangle of branches black against

The night sky, cool (we shivered on the summit).

And all that I love

Is that one day.

The world is a ring.







Down other warm bodies that I can’t find

In my heart 

And in that 

One Day

Which is all that I love.,