Michael Palmer

Say (4)

Say that Ariadne spins the Nine Songs,
spins and sings them, the first
for the body, the second for the prey,
the rest for the seconds, the minutes,
the hours of the day, the month’s weeks,
the years’ flight, the thread of lives,
the call along the pitch-dark corridors.

Say it is the body in time she spins,
the body on a singing bridge
and it is the dark she spins,
the loves in the dark
enlaced by time and confused by the dark
and the secret at its heart.
And if it rains here in Knossos

as in other places and times,
and if the comet’s tail,
on clear nights, hangs
above the water in the eastern sky,
and if indeed the lovers say nothing
as they speak and as she spins,
say nothing twice and twice again

one moment to the next, one note
in Knossos as evening comes,
as hesitant night descends
with no meaning and no art to it,
then perhaps the one song
will suddenly make some sense
and if not we can pretend.