The Gold Spindle Guide Book

Poem by Terri Witek

(Ariadne by de Chirico)

 

She reclines again in a sunstruck square
pierced by shadows, her bed a stone plinth
going nowhere. Who abandoned her here
to become the scene’s only labyrinth?

 

Flush against shadow, her bed a stone plinth,
she dreams a rainstorm of distance
and her sleeping body as labyrinth
with lovers assembled, dazed, at each entrance.

 

But here all dreams equal distance.
Behind her, one ship and one train ride strokes of horizon
and carry off lovers entranced
by their speed. Here it won’t even rain,

 

though one ship and one train ride strokes of horizon
and clouds rush off behind her
at dangerous speeds. Here it won’t even rain,
(at least, so her dream whispers)

 

and no love-struck travelers gust together
then into stone beds. Should she doze here forever?
(It must be her dream that whispers
so coolly.) Does some unseen thread lead to a square

 

smitten by sun? She could doze here forever.
If each dream is a bed from which someone’s absconded,
one golden thread of it leads to the square.
Since she can’t be undone by shadier methods,

 

dazed but assembled, we’ll follow it there.

 

The painting Ariadne by Giorgio de Chirico can be viewed at the following link: http://www.metmuseum.org