Patricia Nelson


The air in which I loved him 
was as round and hot as daylight.

It writhed with yellow birds 
and flying edges. Everywhere
was curve and whirling sound, 
then line, then nothing. 

Magic, too, is locomotion. 
It goes through nothingness, and to it: 
a wand, a weed, a wheel full of seeds. 
Magic lifts my ankles and I glide. 

I can bend the tale on which 
he thought to float away.
I’ll make a wind that snatches 
tallness from the air.

I’ll blow it out with my bright mouth: 
The ocean of everything 
that he is not 
and I am not.


         King of Colchis, Medea’s father

What can I say of Jason?
The gods love heroes. 
Heroes are a wish they can
lift in their hands like a child, 
a difference they can name.

But things once named, 
at once begin to change, 
to move away from the 
gleaming of the gods’ love.

The hero acts according to his wants 
and he soon betrays the gods’ love. 
The brightness in the story moves somehow. 
The hero turns to look and they are gone.

Patricia Nelson is a former attorney who retired to write poetry. Her most recent book is In the Language of Lost Light, Poetic Matrix. She is currently working on a book featuring monsters from various literary periods.