The Labyrinth on Twelfth Street

I turned the corner of Twelfth Street,
Turned into the white building that stands
Like a tall Labyrinth that houses a Minotaur.
The Minotaur sits on your bed,
The bed that held me on its too-hard mattress
For too many long nights
With high walls between our bodies.
Walls not even sacred passion could break down.

Your bed was a proving ground.
I let you take all my longings
And turn them into whimpering moans
Against the Minotaur’s breath.
Your power was knowing that you could call
The Minotaur whenever you chose.
My power was in knowing that you wouldC
I wouldn’t have you any other way.

We convinced one another
No one could do what we did,
We were rightClike Pasiphae and the bull
We could not deny the god-power
That compelled us.
We trapped ourselves in a
Labyrinth of our own making
To house the Minotaur of passion we created.

But we knew no gifted craftsmen, like Daedalus,
To contrive a way out
So we walked the Labyrinth on Twelfth Street
Calling on gods and goddesses whose names
 
We could not remember
Always able to find the Minotaur,
The Minotaur at your bed.
The one predictable path of a winding, twisting Love.

Till one day I found a thread of truth:
The love contained in the Labyrinth,
At least the idea of love,
Could bear the Minotaur no longer.
I turned away from your bed
Away from the Minotaur’s heavy gaze
Away to find a way out
Of the maze we misnamed Love.

Outside, white walls gleamed
Against a beckoning sun
Inside, dark slabs of cold unknowing led me.
I wound my way down steps, round corners;
Through rooms filled with wounds
And halls with slits for windows;
Then I turned to face a wall of glass
Where, as I looked, a goddess looked back.

I guided myself out of the white building,
Out onto a sidewalk filled
With life and sun and hope.
I walked away from the Labyrinth,
The Minotaur’s breath still warm on my face,
I turned the corner of Twelfth Street
And followed the thread
Of my newfound power.

BACK