The clew paying out through his fingers, a deftness
that would bring him back to her, its softness the softness
of skin, as if drawn from herself directly, the faint
labial smell, guiding him up and out, as some dampness
on the air might lead a stone-blind man to the light.
Asterios dead for sure, his crumpled horn, his muzzle
thick with blood, so at Delos they stopped,
Theseus and the young Athenians, and stepped
up to the "altar of horns" to dance a puzzle-
dance, its moves unreadable except to those who'd walked
the blank meanders of the labyrinth.
And this was midday: a fierce sun, the blaze
of their nakedness, the glitter of repetitions, a dazzle
rising off the sea, the scents of pine and hyacinth. . .
Well, things change: new passions, new threats, new fears.
New consequences, too. Nowadays, we don't think much
about Theseus, the Minotaur, Ariadne on the beach
at Naxos, staring out at the coming years.
But people still dance that dance: just common folk,
those criss-cross steps that no one had to teach,
at weddings and wakes, in bars or parks,
as if hope and heart could meet, as if they might
even now, somehow, dance themselves out of the dark.