May 19, 2014
Is the Neapolitan night too quiet for her now,
Does she lie awake listening still
in vain for the melancholy thing’s watchful singing
in her cowslip bed
Watch her young husband’s slumber untroubled by memory
of ocean winds in the reeds,
squalls across the wild sand.
Will she ever be able to sleep not sensing
the gaze of a thousand feral and delicate voices.
Her feet are growing soft.
Her ladies dress her in the gray morning.
At breakfast she is learning
the weight of porcelain, silver,
brocade and whalebone, and ceremony.
Is the very silence of their desertion like freedom
to the spirit, she wonders, like peace?
Or does Ariel also not know
what to do with her own hands anymore?
(You ever suffer that experience when looking through old writing, when you cringe and go “I can’t believe I wrote that?” I just had the opposite experience finding this. I wrote it a few years ago. I was working on a production of The Tempest at the time. I found it while looking through old writing for various submissions, and loved it so much all over again I couldn’t believe I wrote it.)